Dear Zion Church family and friends,
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will
be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his
government and peace there will be no end.
One of the texts we regularly hear during the Advent season is this passage from Isaiah, chapter nine. This prophecy speaks poignantly about the nature and character of Jesus the Messiah. However, given the current state of our world, we might be tempted to disbelieve this prophecy – not disbelief about Jesus being the “Prince of Peace,” but disbelief regarding any real chance that we might see peace on earth or goodwill toward humankind as proclaimed in the first Advent announcement to the shepherds (Luke 2:14)
And yet, as Jesus lived and demonstrated his love toward these early disciples, their lives began to take on his life and his spirit – a spirit of peacemaking. Even after Jesus ascended to heaven, their profound experience of Jesus the Messiah as the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, and son of the Everlasting Father” propelled them to live lives of peace. Even as they faced threats, persecution, and even death they radiated a spirit of peace.
For example, in Acts, chapter seven, we have this account of the martyrdom of Stephen: While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
Today, Jesus continues to act in the world and in us. He tells us he is making all things new (Rev.21:5). One day, when he appears again, he will bring shalom to all things, righting all wrongs. And we pray, “Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth even as it is in heaven.”
A wise friend once reminded me, “where there is God, there is hope.” May the Spirit of our Living God, live in you today and every day, and may you experience a peace that passes all understanding.