December 12, 2013

Prince of Peace

Philippians 4:4-7

He will be called … Prince of Peace.
—Isaiah 9:6


After the crush of shopping and the holiday traffic, a friend exclaimed, “We need peace on earth, goodwill toward men!” (See Luke 2:14.) But what really is “peace on earth”?

Peace is more than the absence of conflict. It is more than warm feelings or sentimentality. God’s peace is much richer. God offers us shalom, which refers to a peace that flows from all things being in proper harmony. Shalom points to wholeness, wholesomeness, and flourishing within God’s guidelines for living. It means my heart, soul, mind, and strength are in alignment with God. My security and rest are rooted in God’s goodness and blessing.

Before Adam and Eve fell into sin, they knew this peace in a perfect way. Life was in balance. And God declared it “very good.” There was fellowship with God, companionship within humanity, and harmony with creation. Adam and Eve experienced God’s blessing as they lived lives of meaningful, joyful service.

But we live in a world that is fragmented, filled with discord, insecurity, and uncertainty. Is there any hope? The good news of Christmas is that the Prince of Peace has come. And through his redeeming work we can experience the richness of God’s peace: “peace with God” (forgiveness and reconciliation with God) and the “peace of God” (his security and wholeness) in our lives.

Prince of Peace, only in your kingdom can we find true, lasting peace. Fill us with your peace as we trust in you. Amen.

About the author — Calvin Aardsma

Calvin Aardsma has been a pastor for more than thirty years. He has served churches in Indiana, Oregon, and the Chicago area. Currently, he is a pastor of Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Lansing, Illinois. He also serves on the board of the Ugandan Orphanage Relief Fund. Cal and his wife, Sandy, have four children and five grandchildren.

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