Newsflash: This world is FULL of conflict!
Strained relationships, tense work environments, bullies on the playground, governments at war…there are many examples of conflict all around us.
Jesus comes to us as the “Prince of Peace” to change all that.
“For a child is born to us,
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.” (Isaiah 9:6)
What does this mean?
I think it means that He–the Christ child–was (and is) the key to Peace, in at least 3 ways:
Peace With God
Peace Of God
Peace Because of God
The ‘Peace With God’ is the most obvious: Jesus came as the perfect Son of God, so that He would live the perfect life–thereby fulfilling the “Law”. As a result, He was able to willingly lay His life down on behalf of those who believe in Him, paying the penalty for our sin, and making it possible for us to have a relationship with God. We now have “PEACE with God”!
It would be like you owing money that you have NO WAY of paying, when suddenly someone else steps in and generously pays your debt in full.
The ‘Peace Of God’ aspect of Jesus’ coming is that He enables us to have “Peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7), even in the midst of difficult circumstances and trials. This peace comes from knowing that He has brought us through tough times in the past, and He promises to do so in the present and future. Knowing this–deep in our core–enables us to ‘rest’ and not worry.
The ‘Peace Because of God’ shows up in our relationship to others. Because we know that we are saved and forgiven by God’s Grace, through Faith in Jesus, we don’t have any reason, motivation, or justification in holding grudges and keeping conflicts going with others. As the Scriptures say, “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32). In other words,’ In The Same Way that God has forgiven you (completely, totally, without regard to what you (and I) deserve), so you should forgive each other.
When Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, it meant all that, and more. Jesus was (and is) our source of peace, and in order to truly WORSHIP Him this Christmas, we must embrace His peace–with God, within ourselves, and with others.
That is a a great way to ‘worship Him.
Consider and Discuss: Has there been a time in your life when you did NOT have “peace with God?” If so, when did that change?
Is there any way in which your circumstances are robbing you of the Peace Of God?
If you have ongoing conflict with another, what would the Prince of Peace inspire you to do?