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The Thirteenth Day of Advent – December 15

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

How much would you pay for peace of mind? You probably have a good idea of how much you would pay for housing, for food, fuel, medical care and entertainment. But what about peace of mind? From the looks of the billions of dollars people are spending for alcohol, recreational drugs, and escapist entertainment, people would pay an arm and a leg for some semblance of peace of mind. Yet, peace of mind is FREE for everyone through the “Prince of Peace”!

In one of the darkest hours in Israel’s history, God reveals to Isaiah the coming of the Sar Shalom, “Prince of Peace”. The Hebrew word Sar, (“Prince”), is variously translated “commander”, “ruler”, “leader”, “general”, and “prince”. Strikingly, Messiah comes as “Wonderful Counselor”, “Mighty God”, “Everlasting Father”, and the “Prince of Peace”. Thus, it is a Child born for us who comes with unique and royal power to command and execute peace for individuals and nations.

It has been noted (“New York Times”, July 6, 2003) that in the last 3,400 years of recorded history, just for 268 of those years have nations been at peace. Today, in a world bereft of peace, it is important to know what the Bible means when it promises peace through the “Prince of Peace”. The He- brew word shalom, translated “peace”, signifies far more than our troubled world’s understanding of peace. The word shalom comes from the Hebrew word shalem, meaning “whole”, “complete”, “full”, “perfect”, and “entire”. “Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.” (Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin) Shalom embodies the way God created the world and His creatures to be. When Jews greeted one another with the word “Shalom”, they meant a lot more than “Have a nice day!” Their words were a wish for wholeness, completeness, fullness of life and peace of mind: “May all that you need, or ever hoped for, be yours!”

Significantly, when the Bible talks about peace it talks about a person: Messiah Jesus, “Prince of Peace”. The prophet Micah foretold His coming: “He shall be the one of peace” (Micah 5:5), and the apostle Paul announces His having come: “For he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus comes with sovereign authority to command even a raging storm, “Peace! Be still!” and the storm obeys (Mark 4:39). Just hours before Jesus was betrayed and crucified, He could promise fair-weather disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). Remarkably, after Jesus’ resurrection, He repeatedly greeted those same halfhearted disciples with reassuring words of peace: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). Jesus promised them His very peace even in a world He knew would be hostile: “I have said these things to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

The peace that the “Prince of Peace” brings to us is not circumstantial or dependent on our circumstances, but wholly dependent on Him. Having been reconciled to God through Christ’s death and resurrection, we now have both “peace with God” (Romans 5:1) and the “peace of God” (Philip- pians 4:7). Knowing Jesus gives us peace within and without; peace in the present and peace in the future. Thus, the apostle Paul encourages us: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15). As you put your trust in Jesus, “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Real peace of mind is not found in meditation exercises, a particular philosophy, or more Christmas presents; real peace of mind is found only in the “Prince of Peace”.

But there is more! The prophet Isaiah is granted visions of that great day when the “Prince of Peace” comes again to command peace to the nations: “they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). And we “shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace” (Isaiah 55:12).

For now, we celebrate Christmas and the coming of the Prince of Peace until that promised day when “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20). Soon! He is coming soon! “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!”


God of peace, we see darkness in our world today. Sometimes we fear a world spinning out of control. Quiet our minds. Breathe on us Your peace. We ask for the promised peace that Jesus knew facing the cross. Let His peace rule in our lives today. Bless our enemies and forgive those who have hurt us. May all we do and say be worthy of the Prince of Peace and of His Gospel. We ask this in the name of the One who is the light of the world. Amen.

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