We all want peace and we want it now. We want peace at work, we want peace in our churches, peace in our families, and peace in the world.
In the Bible, we learn some things about peace. Not all of what the Bible says about peace is what we want to hear. We learn that Jesus did not come to bring peace to all our relationships. We sing Christmas songs about peace on earth and we expect peace to be within our grasp. But, in Matthew 10:34-35, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
So, we have a problem, peace is not guaranteed. At least, not when it comes to how we interact in the world in matters of faith. Love for and devotion to Jesus Christ conflicts with those who love the world. While those in our world see multiple paths of salvation and enjoy self-satisfaction, others have identified the only path to salvation in Jesus Christ.
We know peace was a heavenly promise born in a manger. We know peace came through faith in His work on the cross. We know peace. While this peace may not be a reality in our relationships with others, this peace can be a reality in the souls of those who know the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For a child has been born for us, a son is given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Last week, we lit the candle of peace on our Advent wreaths and we prayed for peace to reign in our hearts. While others look for peace through substances and things, do we seek the Spirit of peace to fill our hearts? While others seek peace by compromising their values and beliefs, do we stand firm in peaceful resolve as children of a holy God?
We forget to listen to and live according to God’s holy Word. In the distractions this season brings, we forget the focus and purpose of this season. The peace God offers is a peace that passes all understanding. It is a peace that knows that Jesus has been born, not to remain a baby in a manger, not to be reduced to a children’s story, but to be revered and worshipped. Jesus Christ, born as a child, suffered and died on the cross of Calvary that all who believe in Him may not perish but have everlasting life (Jn.3:16).
True and lasting peace is knowing the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. O Come, O Come Emmanuel.