“For to us a child is born, to us a child 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.” Isaiah 9:6
I think quite often we take peace for granted. We think of peace and quiet, or a vacation, or a break; all of which can be valuable, but none of which are truly eternal. Like Bill said on Sunday, we often view peace through the lens of our present circumstance while in reality, biblical peace stands true despite it.
It never ceases to amaze me that the peace that comes along with Advent, the coming of Christ, was felt long before Christ actually arrived. I think that’s something we need to seek after. We live in the in-between period of Christ’s arrival and his return, exhaling relief because of promises already fulfilled and waiting in anticipation for the deliverance of the last of them.
Peace has been passed like a communion tray throughout centuries, resting in the knowledge that if God was good, and he is; if God was faithful, which he is; and if God was just, which he is; then his promises would also be true. And they are! Peace is unsurpassed when it comes with that understanding, and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Mary had just that. Through Christ, we are offered peace with God, peace in life, and peace with each other– each impossible without Him at the center. He holds all things, and it is for us to treasure those things in our hearts.
Hebrews 11:13–16 says: “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
Let us continue to seek our homeland. Let us rest in the Advent of Christ, his gospel, and his return. May we take none of his promises for granted, and rather, in hard times and good remember and acknowledge the peace he provides.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
If you haven’t heard it yet, you can listen to our second sermon in our Emmanuel series, “Peace,” here.