December 4 - Messengers for Peace

Reflection by Jonathan Stauffer, Bethany Theological Seminary

The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
— Luke 2:10-14, The Message

Advent is a time to prepare for following Jesus, the Prince of Peace. In remembering the angels’ proclamation of Jesus’ birth, we are reminded of the new things God is doing among us. The angels served as messengers to share this wonderful news to the world.

The call for peace on earth still requires messengers today. In the Church of the Brethren, we understand that discipleship with Christ compels us to strive for the things that make for peace. Yet peace has to happen with both inner transformation and outward efforts. One has to have some sense of the suffering that humanity and others in creation face, and their culpability in causing that, before they can accept that work of reconciliation. Seminary studies have helped me glimpse both the suffering within creation and the Christian hope that guides us toward a more peaceful world.

The many uncertainties and fears we experience these days are a darkness that presses inwardly. While darkness surrounds, the Light of the World is coming among us again this Advent. Let us watch for the Light and follow this way towards God’s peaceable kingdom. Then we, too, may join with the angels singing, “Glory to God, and peace to all on earth.”

About Jonathan

Jonathan Stauffer is a student at Bethany Theological Seminary, where he is working towards his MA. Originally from Polo, Illinois, Jonathan completed his undergrad at Manchester University where he studied physics. Prior to coming to Bethany, Jonathan completed a year and a half of service with the Bretheren Volunteer Services in Washington DC, where he advocated on issues related to environmental stewardship and policies that alleviated hunger and poverty.

Jonathan is recognized as part of the New Faces of Ministry program. To learn more about his work, passions, and dreams, read his full bio here.

About Bethany Theological Seminary

Located in Richmond, Indiana, Bethany Theological Seminary is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, a peace church. Bethany offers a host of opportunities for individuals interested in service, justice, and peace building, as well as a number of scholarships concentrated in these areas.

Bethany is recognized as part of Seminaries that Change the World: Class of 2016-17. To learn more about Bethany, visit their website at, or view their Seminaries that Change the World Profile.