Well, we have made it to the fourth and final week of Advent. Just like the Wisemen, we have followed the star as we approach the birth of Baby Jesus. So far we have journeyed with the Star of HOPE, Star of LOVE, Star of JOY, and now ending with the Star of PEACE. Did you know that Jesus is called the Prince of Peace in the Bible? Listen to Isaiah 9, verses 6 and 7: “A Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its PEACE will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David for all eternity. The LORD Almighty will make this happen!”
So in these two verses, PEACE is more than just a feeling; it’s a person – Jesus. Throughout Jesus’ life and teaching, we see that true PEACE comes from Him. By sending His Son, God sent HIS PEACE into the world through Jesus. The world may not seem very peaceful to us now, but because of Jesus’ birth, we can all live in God’s PEACE. In Philippians 4:7 we have a wonderful promise about being peaceful: “The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” In verse 6, the verse before this promise, we read: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and asking with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” God’s PEACE is promised to guard us when we pray thankfully about everything. This PEACE goes beyond our ability to logically understand it, but it’s there nevertheless. When we place our faith and full confidence in God and are thankful in every situation, we will possess a sort of supernatural PEACE. An inner calm will dominate our hearts, despite all the problems in the world or our lives. No one, especially those outside of Christ, will be able to understand how that kind of PEACE is even possible. To them, it will remain a mystery how we can be so calm in the middle of turmoil. This PEACE comes from being in the right relationship with God and is not the peace of this world. The world’s peace depends on having favorable circumstances. If things are going well, then they feel peaceful; when things go badly, they quickly lose their peace. Jesus made the distinction between HIS PEACE and the world’s ever-changing peace: “PEACE I leave with you; My PEACE I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). God’s supernatural PEACE surpasses natural understanding, but again, it is there even when we don’t fully understand it.
This week think about how lucky we are as Christians to have real Christian PEACE in our lives. No matter what happens, we can be assured of God’s love and calm assurance that everything will work out as He wants in His own time.
Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Have fun opening presents and being with family and friends, but take a few minutes also to remember why we celebrate Christmas and thank Him who came to earth because He loved us so much! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Let’s pray a prayer together. God, we thank You for giving us real and everlasting peace in our lives. Even though it doesn’t seem possible to be peaceful in our world today, we know because of Jesus, our Prince of Peace, we can remain calm and tranquil always. Let us never forget You are with us whenever we need You. In Your name we pray these things, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church.