Peace is a critical stage in the journey to Christmas. It is such a defining characteristic of God that Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6 “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.” Peace is in His very name.
Peace is a promise from God to humanity resulting from fellowship with God and obedience to His commands. Leviticus 26:6 is part of the great promise of God to Israel resulting from walking in the statutes God gave them, “I (God) will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.” In this time when it is easy to fear, God promises that He will give us peace. Peace is a fullness with every need met, every enemy vanquished, and a wholesome rest for both heart and mind.
God is the giver of peace but it must be sought after. The Psalms are full of references to the gift of peace such as Psalm 29:11 asking, “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” Psalm 34:14 encourages us to, “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Peace is a gift from God but our obedience opens it and allows it to fill our hearts and our minds.
Jesus came to the earth bringing peace on that silent night. Luke 2:14 tells the words of the angelic host, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Jesus often told people to go in peace after they received their miracles. Jesus left the same way, John 14:27 defines the purpose of Jesus as he prepared to depart into heaven, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” God’s presence is peace. We can trust in it and rest in it. Rest in the peace of Jesus throughout this stressful season. The Jews still use Shalom, their word for peace as both a greeting and as a farewell to keep peace always at the forefront of their memory. Go in peace, Shalom!