For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.Isaiah 9:6-7
We have come to the fourth and final Sunday of Advent. So far we have lit the candles of Hope in the promise of the Messiah, Faith that God will fulfill all that He has promised, and Joy in anticipation of the Messiah’s arrival. Today we light the candle of Peace, the Peace the Messiah brings – and Peace is the entirety of His purpose.
We attribute so many things to Jesus – love, mercy, compassion, justice – but for all the healings, teachings, admonitions, and acts of service, the true gospel of Jesus is the gospel of Peace or Shalom.
If you are not already familiar with Shalom, it is wholistic peace, it is fulfillment and completion. Shalom is peace on all fronts – with nature, with self, with man, and with God. And all of the things that we attribute to Jesus and His teachings -love, mercy, compassion, and justice – are all outcroppings of Shalom.
As we light today’s candle of Peace, let us meditate on the greatest Peace of all: peace with God.
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our peace fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.Isaiah 53:5
…He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.Romans 4:35-5:2
This Child born for us ultimately came that He would sacrifice Himself to heal the division between you and me and God. This Child was given to us to accomplish once for all what we could never do ourselves.
…and of the increase of His peace there shall be no end…