PEACE in our waiting

The final reflection written for Advent 2015, focussed on PEACE in our waiting, found in Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

Hope in the Messiah

2The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.6 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.7 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.The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

Even though Isaiah was writing hundreds of years before the night that Jesus was born in a Bethlehem stable, these prophetic verses are just as much a part of the nativity narrative as the passages from Luke and Matthew we’ve already looked at.

What is prophesied here is fulfilled at Bethlehem, and then culminates thirty-odd years later on a hill just outside Jerusalem, and we now live in the midst of these promises – because Jesus embodies each one.

There are many prophecies about Jesus throughout the Old Testament, and then, probably only a few weeks or months before He was born, Zechariah shares in Luke 1:

78 Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

Echoing Isaiah from centuries earlier, Zechariah points again to Jesus being the great light about to dawn, and bringing with Him something that we are all deeply in need of in each moment of our lives: His peace.

Peace is such a vast and significant concept, which Paul tells us in Philippians is ‘beyond our understanding’, so obviously it will be a challenge to grasp – and yet Jesus, our Prince of Peace, wants to guide us along that path. He wants us to live in the confidence and comfort, the strength and security, the settled assurance and constant refuge of His peace.

Knowing and living in His peace does not necessarily mean that situations change, although of course we continue to pray in hope and faith that He is powerful and can work in wonderful and miraculous ways. But living in peace means that we choose to be established in Him.

Even in the midst of our waiting, in the midst of our struggles, even when we are facing challenges and things are painful, we choose to seek the light of our Prince of Peace.

This week more than any, we are reminded that our God is not distant, but He is Immanuel. He is with us. He is the One who comes close. We worship the One who was willing to limit Himself to human flesh so that He could do all that is needed, so we can have an intimate connection with Him.

And knowing that He dwells with us – He goes before us, He stands behind us, He wholly surrounds us in each moment – means that we can live in peace.

Whatever it is that you are facing, or that the children in your care are facing, why not take a few minutes now to rest in His peace. Pray for His peace to surround you, comfort you and strengthen you.

Please could you also pray that this same peace would be poured out on the many thousands of vulnerable children across the UK – those who are living in uncertainty, those who are waiting, those who are separated from those they love. Please pray that the Prince of Peace would fill the hearts of each and every precious child who needs a loving home for good this Christmas.

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
December 2015


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