Four weeks of Advent – four names of the Christ-child from the prophet Isaiah.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
How do you spell peace? What is peace, exactly? Is it the absence of noise? The absence of hostility? The presence of quiet? How much peace does one need? A lot? A little? Do you ever find yourself wishing for more peace?
The problem with wishing for more peace is that it implies peace is a commodity – something we receive in measured amounts. But peace is not a product to be purchased or an item packaged in a bag or box.
Peace is a Person. More than 2,700 years ago, Isaiah wrote of the coming of the Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, entered this world of sin and discord for one purpose. He came to reconcile us to God – to restore a relationship broken by sin. The Prince of Peace came so we might have peace with God, with ourselves, and with others.
It’s not a matter of having more peace. Either we have it – Him – or we don’t. There’s no continuum moving from little to more to much. So when we find ourselves wishing for more peace, perhaps we should ask ourselves a few questions:
Am I at peace with God?
Have you ever known the peace of being reconciled to God? If not, then celebrate this Christmas by giving yourself the best gift possible – the assurance that you belong to your heavenly Father through the gift of the Prince of Peace.
Am I at peace with myself?
If peace with ourselves is something that’s dependent on our circumstances, then even though we’ve been reconciled to God, we may not be fully benefiting from His peace. Anxiousness, fear, and discouragement are indications that we are viewing God from the perspective of our circumstances instead of viewing our circumstances from God’s perspective.
Am I at peace with others?
Even while we were enemies of God, He gave His Son for us. We probably won’t ever be asked to sacrifice our children for our enemies (aren’t you glad of that?). However, God does ask us to extend mercy to others, to look beyond our own hurts to be His hands and feet and heart to a world that needs to know Him.
Peace – it’s a gift that can only come from the One who is peace. Anything else is a poor imitation. Don’t settle for a piece of peace. This Christmas – and every day of the year – enjoy God’s precious gift of the Prince of Peace.
How do I spell peace? J-E-S-U-S.
Enjoy this final week leading up to the birth of the Prince of Peace!