He will be called . . . The Prince of Peace”
For many people December is a month of great joy but also of great anxiety and stress. What with all the buying, wrapping, planning, cooking, entertaining, impatient lines and clerks at the stores, lack of parking, shoving crowds, financial strain and for some depression and loneliness. And yet, December is just a microcosm of our modern lives which come laden with all manner of complexity and strain. There is a great need for peace in our world, not just any peace, but God’s Peace.
God could have called Jesus any number of names, but one of the top four names he gives him is, "The Prince of Peace." The Bible goes on to mention the word peace more than 400 times; sufficient references to cover each day of the year and each situation in our harried lives and then some. Jesus did not just come to bring peace; he is our peace.
On the night Jesus was born there were many similarities to the hustle and bustle of our lives, but also one stark contrast. The huge and weary crowds, returning to their homes for the official census, filled the roads and the inns. The shepherds were busy keeping watch over their flocks by night; the wise men were busy following the star, but in that humble stable, a new-born child lay in a manger. It was a silent night; it was a holy; it was a peaceful night. The Prince of Peace had come to live among humankind and his presence changed everything. His presence caused the wise men to bring him their best gifts. It even sent the shepherds back to their flocks, “glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen.
Many of us may be in the same situation today. Perhaps like the shepherds and the wise men, you find yourself going about your life, worrying and fretting about all manner of things. Maybe you are wondering what the New Year will bring to your life, your church, your marriage or your family or your nation. Worry is a tough foe, but peace is a big deal to God that he would send us The Prince of Peace. Christmas should remind us of the prophetic nature of his coming. Jesus will come again (Revelations 22: 12-13) to bring us all the peace we crave; both internal and international peace, and of his kingdom the Bible says, there will be no end.
So this Christmas, as we attend to everything else, let us not forget to make room for The Prince of Peace. The gift that he gives is internal and eternal. It cannot be wrapped in a gift box or bought on Amazon.com. It cannot be exchanged, re-gifted or returned. It is that inner peace that surpasses all understanding. It is the peace that cuts through the clutter of our modern lives and reminds us that we are loved just as we are; It is the gift that can only be received with a genuinely grateful and desiring heart and it is the one gift that is a "must have" this Christmas season.
I don't know how many gifts you hope to receive this year, but I pray and hope you will recognize and accept The Prince of Peace. You don't have to give him anything back in return. The Prince of Peace offers you his peace; so that you might be free from worry and the uncertainty of a life lived apart from him. Will you accept him today?
Heavenly Father, giver of all peace, visit those whose lives are falling apart; visit those who are struggling with depression and loneliness; visit those who suffer from cancer and other debilitating illnesses, visit those who have lost loved ones this year; visit those who have been displaced from their homelands by war; visit those who wait anxiously for your return; visit those who long for your presence and peace; and please visit those who are ready to welcome you into their lives today. We praise you and glorify you for what you have done in our lives and for what you will continue to do in the days ahead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.