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.
This often quoted passage from Isaiah foretells the birth of Jesus, calling him the Prince of Peace.
We only have to glimpse the headlines of the news today to see a world of hunger and need, war and death, terror and tragedy.
Closer to home we may be travelling through difficult personal circumstances: loss of employment; loss of a loved one; broken relationships.
Christmas seems to be a time that highlights all these disparities and they jar with the words from Isaiah above.
How can Jesus be our Prince of Peace when this is our reality?
When you look at Jesus’ life he was surrounded by those who wanted to kill him (right from birth, remember Herod).
His family had become refugees, fleeing to Egypt.
He was born into a poor family and undoubtably knew need.
His ministry was haunted by those seeking to bring him down and ultimately he was betrayed by one of his closest friends.
Yet through it all he had peace, for in his spirit he knew who was in control, and he trusted in his Father’s purposes.
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he appears to his disciples who were fearful and afraid. John tells the story this way:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Jesus appears in the midst of their trouble. Through locked doors he appears to them. And the words he speaks are peace.
What are your circumstances today? Where do you need the Prince of Peace to touch your life?
He comes into the midst of your trouble and says to you, ‘Peace be with you’.
May the Prince of Peace, quiet your spirit this Christmas,