From our Women’s Panel Contributor Esther Lysakovsky

For many of us right now, peace seems elusive.

The foundations we thought were firm and unbending have shifted. We’ve all had to reimagine
the everyday parts of life, like work, school, and social life. Many have also experienced loss,
sickness and grief. We’ve seen nations, and even families, torn apart and divided. For many in
this world, there is the added suffering of war, poverty, racism, and the threat of terrorism and

Peace on earth? Do we even dare say those words out loud this Advent season?

Here’s the beautiful reveal. Advent brought us the perfect gift of peace in Jesus. For the first
time in history, humanity was offered eternal life without works. No striving, just faith. No fear
of death, just peace. Wholeness and completeness in Christ…Shalom.

In Christ we see modelled for us a life connected to the source of peace – God the Father. He
then provided us with the gift of his Holy Spirit so that we too can live a life connected to our
Source and empowered by the Holy Spirit, enabling us to model a life of peace to those around

In John 14:27 Jesus says to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you…”
His peace is perfect and lasting because it brings rest to our heart, soul and mind. As author
and life coach Holley Gerth wrote, “Peace is not the absence of something, it’s the presence of

So in this season, amidst a world filled with uncertainty, fear and division, how can we pursue
peace and wholeness…Shalom?

3 Ways to Pursue Peace this Advent Season:

1. Pursue Contentment
Contentment flows from a heart at peace. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, endless
shopping, Starbucks runs and parties, take a moment for gratitude. Look around at all that you
have and offer a prayer of thanks. I also love the idea of keeping a “Gratitude Journal”
throughout Advent as a way to bring to remembrance God’s immense faithfulness.

2. Pursue a New Posture
Years ago, during a particularly difficult season raising my two young boys, I realized I had little
peace or joy. I was often angry, impatient, and lacking grace. As I was reading the book
Glimpses of Grace, God kindly revealed to me how He has freely lavished grace and mercy on
me, but I was not extending that to my family. From that moment I changed my heart posture
toward my children. I began to listen more, to be gentle and kind, to pray more, and to release
control to God. This new posture changed the trajectory of our home and family. If you are
desiring your home to be a place of peace this Advent, take some time to pray and ask God to
reveal where you may need to re-posture your heart. He is so gracious!

3. Pursue Forgiveness
Nothing steals our peace faster than conflict. And the holidays have a bad reputation for
producing conflict- from stressful family dinners to the financial stress of credit card debt to
pay for gifts which may or may not even be appreciated. This season, experience greater peace
by being quick to resolve conflict and quick to forgive.

Father, we thank you for providing perfect, lasting peace in the gift of your Son, Jesus- the Prince of Peace. Where it seems impossible to us to pursue peace in this difficult season, we pray that you would fill our hearts with your peace and empower us by your Holy Spirit to be people of peacekind, compassionate, gracious, and full of love to a hurting world. Amen.

Questions for reflection

  1. Isaiah 9:6 describes Jesus as our “Wonderful Councelor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” How have you experienced Jesus as your “Prince of Peace?”
  2. What is something you can do this week to be a person of peace to the people closest to you?