Advent Devotion - 12/18/16

What is Peace?  The dictionary defines it as: freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. Well, after this season of political rhetoric, world issues, and personal/family busyness, peace sounds nice. Donna in our office told me about a visit to the mountains of NC where she said you could just sit on the porch and stare at the mountains and see what God had made. Personally that sounds like peace to me.

 

The Bible is not silent on the subject of peace. In fact it is mentioned 249 different times in our scriptures. If something is mentioned that many times, it might be significant.  Of all the books, the word Peace is mentioned most frequently in Isaiah.

 

Isaiah is popular around this time of year with verses like Is 9:6-7.  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

 

That is a good Christmas verse right there. It speaks to the purpose of celebrating Christmas. We have the child messiah being born! He is going to change everything!  He will be called these amazing things including Prince of Peace! This is the peace that we have been looking for!   But that’s only half the story. Isaiah also has a prophetic look at the other half with verse 53:5.

 

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the narrative of Christmas and only consider the first part of the story. In reality, the narrative is the whole story, starting at Christmas and culminating at Easter. God came to Earth as a baby so that we may eventually know true Peace through his death on the cross and the resurrection.

 

My prayer in this last week leading up to Christmas is that we can reflect on the type of Peace that Christ brought to us and how that will affect who we are and how we act while here on Earth. Do we allow the peace of Christ to transform us so that we can be a light to a dark world? Take a few minutes to pray about it.

 

Jon Greenhill