God’s peace is ever-present and ever-available to us. Take time this day to be still and feel God’s peace around you.

Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)

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So welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory. I’m saying that Christ became a servant of those who are circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the ancestors, and so that the Gentiles could glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.

And again, it says,

Rejoice, Gentiles, with his people.

And again,

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and all the people should sing his praises.

And again, Isaiah says,

There will be a root of Jesse, who will also rise to rule the Gentiles. The Gentiles will place their hope in him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:7-13

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"Rejoice!" I love this word! It is one of those words that goes beyond the definition: “to feel or show great joy or delight.”

Think of a time when you see a good friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while: the joy and delight on your faces, the joy in your heart, the excitement to reconnect. My dad was like that any time my mom or I would get home… even just from a run to the store. I can see him standing in the doorway, arms wide open, big smile, some silly greeting, and great joy.

As we move deeper into Advent, the excitement builds as we near the moment that Christ bursts into our world, disrupting the norm and issuing a resounding and rejoicing welcome to all. To all! Paul emphasizes in Romans that the invitation is for all peoples, not just Jews, but for Gentiles as well. It's an open-armed, big-smile welcome, full to overflowing with joy, rejoicing that you are here.

Duana Cisney

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

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Go into the world in Peace, to love and serve the Lord.


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Duana Cisney

Duana Cisney has over fifteen years of experience working with youth and families at the church and diocesan levels in the Episcopal Church in North Carolina and Texas. Now back home in North Carolina, she enjoys time with her husband and three grown and growing children, writing, creating, serving, and exploring all that life has to offer.

Coventry Carol

Nathan Hanson

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