Friday, April 19, 2024

Advent of Peace

Why do you look forward to Christmas? For many, it is a time to spend with family and friends. It is a respite from work. And it is accompanied by presents! It is also a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of all mankind. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the reason for the season is often overlooked.

Advent of PeaceThe season of Advent, which occurs the four weeks preceding Christmas, is a time of experiencing excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day, and all the activities that surround that day. During the weeks of Advent, we should reflect on the Israelites and how they felt awaiting their coming Savior.  This week, we focus on the Advent of Peace.

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.
(Isaiah 9:6, NIV)

As discussed in the Advent of Hope, Isaiah’s ministry took place approximately 700 years before the birth of Christ. That is a long time to wait! Can you imagine the emotions of the Israelites upon hearing Isaiah’s prophecy for the first time? What would your reaction be?

During Isaiah’s time, the people of Israel were under attack. Their lives, their lands, their safety was being threatened. Many had fallen away from true worship of the Lord God as described by Moses. They did not have peace, physically or spiritually. Do you?

Peace is defined as a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations. Everyone experiences time in their life when they lack peace. Many have experienced a lack of peace over the last two years as the world has dealt, and continues to deal, with an unknown virus and its mutations. Many were nervous and unsure about what the future held. They lacked peace in their lives, a peace that can only come from turning over all uncertainty to the Lord. The Israelites were feeling the same way! They did not know what the future held for them! They lacked peace because they relied upon other nations to deliver them from their oppressors. And then Isaiah tells them about a coming child. A child who will rule and bring about peace.

The peace He brought was not the world peace most expected. He did not bring the world into a state of mutual harmony. Wars continued. The Israelites continued to be oppressed under Roman rule. Instead, the child, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, grew into a man and sacrificed Himself so that we may all have the eternal peace of salvation. Through our faith and reliance upon Jesus Christ, we can have peace and harmony in our lives! By casting our cares and worries on Him, we know that we need not fear the unknown, the future, for He is always with us and will aways guide us.

And like the Israelites who waited for hundreds of years for their Prince of Peace, so we too continue to wait. We wait for His glorious return when He will also bring peace to the entire world. All wars will end. All governments will end. He will rule, at His father’s side, and peace, physical world peace will reign eternally.  Do you share the excitement of the Advent of Peace?

Take some time this week to reflect upon the theme of Advent of Peace. How do you define peace? Where is peace in your life? Find your peace!

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