FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
PRINCE OF PEACE
A contest was held to determine who could represent peace through painting. Three finalists were determined, and a crowd of art enthusiasts were used to declare the winner. The first painting was unveiled to reveal a portrait of a peace valley with a quiet sunset in the background. The second was unveiled to show a portrait of tranquil waters of seashore with the soft glow of a lighthouse. The final entry was unveiled; it portrayed a dark, threatening sky. Rain poured down upon a sharp cliff with one scraggly old tree jutting out. However, from an elbow on the branch of that tree could be seen a mother bird sitting atop her nest, sheltering her baby birds from the storm. This was the winner because it captured the essence of peace.
Here in America the term peace has been connected with the absence of war. If there is no war – there is peace. However, the word that is used in the Old Testament for peace is “Shalom” and it means so much more than the absence of conflict. Shalom is indeed used to describe the end of hostilities, but the word itself also pictures health and wholeness. It denotes harmony and completeness. To have shalom is to have not only a quiet life but also to have a fulfilled life in every way. And Jesus is the Prince of that kind of peace!
Today we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. That’s why Jesus came. Mike told us in the sermon, Jesus is the only one who can reconcile sinful man and Holy God. Through faith in Jesus, we can have our sins forgiven and find peace with God. The name Prince of Peace tells us that we can be right with God this Christmas. As you reflect on the past year, month, and week, can you say you have peace? If not, ask the Prince of Peace to come into your life.