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.
Prince of Peace. What a beautiful name. It is a sound of hope when calamity strikes us or busyness unravels us or hardship grinds us down.
Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. To me, these names paint a picture of the enormity of Christmas.
One whose perfect plans and infinitely wise counsel are met with awe. A champion God, glorious in His strength. A loving Father so ancient He has no beginning, and so eternal He has no end. A Prince of complete and utter peace.
All of this was wrapped up in a squalling infant boy thrust into a cold and broken world. All of this majesty, all of this strength, all of this infinity . . . confined within human flesh, a vulnerable baby completely dependent on his teenaged mother. Mighty God. Everlasting Father.
Every time I pause and let the weight of it sink in, I can hardly fathom why He would do such a thing. It's then I sense His heartbeat, and it's there I find His answer.
For me. For us.
It was for us He came. For these glorious, incredible, imageo Deo--made in the image of God--creatures. For these broken, lost, fallen human beings. He entered our world because of love, to accomplish one purpose: to bring us peace.
The original Hebrew word is shalom, and it's used 239 times throughout the Bible. The English word, peace, doesn't even begin to convey the depth of its meaning. This shalom speaks of wholeness, soundness, and well-being. Completeness in number, safety and soundness in body, health, prosperity, quiet, tranquility, contentment. Peace in relationships. Peace from war. Peace with God.
We were cut off from this shalom, struggling to recreate it or achieve it or be worthy of it. Locked into a covenant of law that promised us shalom only if we could live up to its impossible standards. Then Jesus came to fulfill the law and restore us to this all-consuming peace, this rightness with Himself.
Shalom dawned on the first Christmas day, and it was brought to full light on the day this crucified Savior returned to life.
My Prince of Peace came to fill me with shalom. Completeness, soundness, absolute rightness. A quiet strength inside that knows that no matter the storm, I am anchored in Him. A contentment welling from within, unthreatened by outside circumstances. A haven found in the shadow of His wings, in the shelter of His love.
In Him, shattered hearts are made whole. Dead soil springs up with new life. Old coals kindle with fresh flames. Peace reigns.