And He shall be their peace. Micah 5:5
….and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
It’s (almost) Christmas and the Christmas rush is (almost) over. Since our family had already celebrated and exchanged gifts with each other, I’m anticipating a quiet and restful Christmas day. I am filled with thanksgiving that this has been a very meaningful Advent, rich in prayer, reflection and guided study of God’s word. It has been another season of pruning by the Vine-dresser; trimming and paring me down to the core, which always takes my heart to a place of peace: a place of knowing that I have nothing of my own and that Jesus is everything.
Peace. I’ve never met anyone who does not desire peace. But it is also true that peace is often misunderstood. Many would define peace as the absence of relational conflict. Some equate peace with a blissful feeling or a state of being problem-free. Others require silence and solitude in order to experience peace. However, the peace that is found in Christ is much more than these.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
To have peace is to have security in Christ, in a way that the heart remains unshaken even in the midst of ongoing turmoil. His peace overflows when trusting my All-Powerful God wins over my attempts to take control of life with my own abilities. His peace overcomes my anxious mind when I am reminded that He has full knowledge of what I do not understand. His peace soothes the aching of my soul when by His grace, I am able to surrender to His will, even if it is not what I would have chosen.
I have said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
I am aware that whether in our own communities or in faraway countries, there are countless people who are weighed down with sorrow and strife this Christmas. Losses and longings, hardship and failure could be even more palpable during this festive season. I pray that we may humbly and lovingly serve as compassionate channels of His peace, which transcends all earthly tragedies. No wonder the apostle Paul described it as peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7).
The Prince of Peace entered our restless world that first Christmas. Peace flowed through the gates of heaven that have been opened for us by the Child in the manger who became our Savior on the Cross. In Christ, our peace no longer depends on favorable circumstances, answered prayers, restored relationships, thriving ministries, the healing of our ailments, or anything else.
For He Himself is our peace, not just our ticket to peace. Christ alone. There simply is no one else. The more we adore Him and place our faith in the truth of who He is, the more we are stripped of everything that is not Him. It is in this state of emptiness that God fills us the most with inexpressible joy, and we find ourselves delighting in Him and all that He does. Joy to the world! Our Lord, our Prince of peace, has come.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14
“Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born“
(From Welcome to Our World by Chris Rice)