“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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7
If there is one gift our world needs this Christmas, it’s the Prince of Peace. Living out Jesus’ Prince of Peace values would mend a divided world, end wars, overturn extremism and hatred, and see God’s love reaching out to a hurting world.
Advent, a time of expectant waiting and hopeful longing, reminds us of that beautiful promise ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Ps 46:10). It’s in the stillness, the silence, where we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. As we prayerfully draw close to the Prince of Peace and take a break from rushing around preparing our homes, gifts and kitchen cupboards for Christmas, we see glimpses of the everlasting peace of God’s kingdom come. At advent especially, we are invited to wait, to hope, to long for this peace to engulf our world.
At advent we are invited to wait, to hope, to long for this peace to engulf our world.
But the waiting of advent is not passive. Rather, we long for the Prince of Peace ‘more than watchmen wait for the morning’ (Ps 130:6), seeking to become lovers of peace ourselves as we retune our often-selfish hearts to the selflessness of Christ. Practicing advent invites us to lean into this spirit of waiting – just as we expect and anticipate Christmas, so too can we have certain hope in the coming of the Prince of Peace and the day when our longing for God’s peace and justice will be fully met in his kingdom.
Here and now, discipleship means pursuing paths of peace wherever we find ourselves.
Here and now, discipleship means pursuing paths of peace wherever we find ourselves. When we look to Jesus and rejoice over acts of peace around the world, we are reminded that there will be no end to the glorious reign of our Prince of Peace.
Pursuing peace means surrendering our agenda to God. It means listening to his leading so that we see God’s mercy, love and peace reaching out to us the whole world over. So let’s pray ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done’ this advent with a pit of the stomach longing for Jesus, Prince of Peace to come and reign evermore.