The Prince of Peace

The Advent Community Journal for “The Prince of Peace” devotional (The Gift of Advent, 43-45).

  • How have you heard peace discussed as a sentimental or unrealistic ideal?

  • If the Bible only described peace as an inner feeling, what would you think?

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One of the beliefs I grew up with is that someone with a strong faith in God should be unmoved by circumstances and continually walk in peace. While there is some truth to it, it ignores the fact that growing in the peace of God is a process and is not an end in itself. Jesus not only came to give us inner peace that surpasses understanding in the difficult circumstances we may find ourselves in, but also came to give us the peace that comes from ordering our life in such a way that it is aligned with God’s will. That we are partcipants in God’s grand scheme of reconciliation of heaven and earth unto himself.

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It is a very interesting concept to understand what peace means in the Biblical context. I think it’s easy to confuse the Biblical peace with the modern notion of an ethereal peace that flows from a detachment of self and reality through eastern spiritual practices. I like how we’ve discussed what this peace means in the Missional Partners weekly Bible studies, and how God’s kingdom is the shalom that Jesus brought and will fulfil. The difference that this type of peace holds, is that it makes space for us to feel deeply - we can walk with people through suffering and share in their pain whilst standing in the peace of God. I am reminded of Jesus, bringer of shalom, who wept with Martha and Mary at the death of Lazarus. This must tell us that true peace is beyond ourselves and our inner feelings. It is the fruition of God’s kingdom on earth. We are human with deep human emotions, and to live life without these emotions would be to deny part of our humanity. Peace, therefore, must be outside of us, whilst greatly impacted by our actions. I find this realisation helpful, because peace ultimately flows from the Prince of Peace. It releases us from trying to make ourselves do something we can’t. Nevertheless, we can also make choices to step into God’s peace or not, and this comes from personal relationship with him.

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You explained it very well Alison. And its these emotions that propel us to do something fruitful for the kingdom of God.

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