Prince of Peace
His Name Shall be Called:
Prince of Peace (#4 in Series)
Isaiah’s fourth and final name for this child, this son, born and given unto us... the King who rules and reigns with the government upon his shoulders... is not, by any means, the least significant of the names given... in fact, it may be the best known, and least understood.
“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.”
Prince of peace...
We need peace, don’t we? Which makes this incredibly Good News! In a world of turmoil, that’s often de-void of peace... a world of war, and strife, and division, and enmity... a world filled with hatred, and hurt, and pain, and sorrow... Jesus is the Prince of peace. He’s the ruler whose reign brings peace in the hearts of all who trust in him.
Of course, during difficult seasons in life, peace can often seem the most elusive thing of all. When we’re walking through a season of loss or despair in our lives, there are so many conflicting emotions: sadness, anger, regret, anxiety and maybe even relief... or even guilt in some circumstances.
Sometimes, when a loved one passes... we experience all of these emotions. We grieve... we’re sad... but we’re often angry, too. Sometimes we’re angry at God... other times we’re angry at ourselves... because there’s often a sense of relief that their pain and suffering has ended... and guilt over the fact that we’re relieved that their suffering has ended.
That tension: between grief, anger and relief... robs our peace, if we’re not careful... it can make us bitter, miserable and lonely people...
Grief, fear, sadness and despair are messy, complicated and inconvenient any time of the year. But, at Christmas, difficult feelings are magnified... because they’re in opposition to the joy and celebration and happiness we see all around us (and that the world tells us we’re supposed to be feeling).
As a pastor, I get to experience things from a slightly different point of view... I suppose. Now before I say another word... hear this: “I am not complaining! And I’m not asking for sympathy or throwing a pity-party!” My point is, everything I’m about to say, is an attempt to stress just how stressful this season can be. And my personal perspective, is that of a Pastor (for over 30 years now): it’s the only perspective I know.
Because, not only do Pastors experience all the personal stuff - all the same baggage and weight that everyone else experiences - Pastors are often expected to have the ability to do something to stop it.
This year especially... IT. HAS. BEEN. CRAZY. The emotional baggage alone, dealing with the stress of loss (including personal loss)... and the weight of making decisions that effect (or potentially affect) many is often overwhelming... but add in a crazy political year that just won’t go away... a global pandemic... and Christmas time with people ringing the doorbell (at your office and at home, 7-days a week), calling, texting... asking (sometimes literally begging) in desperation for assistance with their rent, utilities, and groceries... with meager Church resources to help that only go so far... it all compounds... piling-on... and multiplies at times... becoming a burden few know outside the ministry.
And add to that... for every person you’re able to help, there’s the constant, nagging reality... that there have to be 10 you cannot.
Put yourself in those shoes for just a brief moment. When was the last time a complete stranger called you for help? When was the last time your home doorbell rang during dinner... because someone who was homeless or food insecure came to your home seeking help? I not complaining. I knew full well what God was calling me to do when I signed up for this... but I hope my telling you this helps you to see how desperately we ALL need a Prince of Peace in these moments.
We NEED this Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God and Everlasting Father on a personal level. And, maybe, this Advent/Christmas, we’ll all sense how desperately we need Jesus, as our Prince of Peace.
There is no earthly peace to be found in much of what life throws at us, yet Jesus promises us his peace, which is altogether different.
Because, Jesus not only brings peace into the turmoil of life... Jesus has made peace with God on our behalf. In Christ, we will experience peace, joy, justice and righteousness... forever.
This is such a contrast between earthly kings who cannot be trusted to bring perfect righteousness, and perfect justice, and perfect peace.
But Jesus can. There’s no ruler, there’s no king like him. There’s no prince like him in all the history of the world. This son, this child born, that we anticipate during Advent... and celebrate during Christmas is the Prince of peace. And one day he will bring total and lasting peace to all who put their trust in him.
No more war with sin. No more sorrow in our hearts. No more hurt, no more pain, no more despair, no more strife, no more enmity between God and man. He will bring all who trust in him into full and final reconciliation with God, to experience eternal, peace, joy, justice, righteousness with him.
Of course, don’t misunderstand (as so many do)... “peace” does not mean “ease.”
Jesus didn’t promise us an easy path; He promised us his presence.
In fact, He told us to expect tribulation (John 16:33) and anticipate trials (James 1:2). But He also said that, if we call on Him, He will give us the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6–7).
And that means... that no matter what hardships we face in this life... as followers of Christ, we have access to the peace that comes from the everlasting love of God... a peace that is not dependent on our own strength or the situation - nor the circumstances around us... a peace that comes from God alone.
And we don’t have to wait for some day “in the sweet by and by” to experience this peace in our hearts and lives. Christ has come to give us peace with God, now.
It’s as close as a whispered prayer... as near as a silent tear.
Let’s pray: “God, especially here at Christmas, help us to point others to the peace that’s found only in you. People are longing for peace all around us. Help us to show them, you are the Prince of peace. May we know your peace that passes all understanding, in our lives... and in our world. In the powerful name of Christ! Amen.”