Jesus is the Prince of Peace not Worry
When you think of Christmas Eve/Day and your family’s traditions/life what comes to mind. Quickly without thinking about it too much just call it out.
Food, Travel, Celebrations, Gathering, Santa, treats for Rudolph and the other reindeer?
Is it just me and my family who don't think of peace when we think of Christmas. I think of food, travel, celebrations, gathering together, parties, Santa, treats for Rudolph and the other reindeer when I think about Christmas. BUT peace is decidedly not the among the things or emotions I think of when I think about Christmas.
Maybe it is the mad rush to get gifts purchased and wrapped, though if I’m honest and I think most husbands can say the same this is harder on my wife than me, the rush to get the food prepared, the rush to get the house ready, the obligatory trip to Church and rushing people out the door for it, and all the other things that are to be crammed into just a few hours to days together but peace seems to be decidedly missing from the festivities.
Jesus comes on Christmas as the savior and messiah of the world and as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. The title Prince of Peace is central to the coming of Jesus as savior and messiah at Christmas. The peace that Jesus is to bring is literally “shalom.” Jesus is the Prince of Shalom.
Shalom is one of the characteristics of God’s coming into the world and of being in the presence of God but Shalom is one of the charisms that our Jewish friends retain that has largely gone missing from Christian life. I remember working at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and walking in every Friday morning to greetings of “Shabbat Shalom.” Welcome the sabbath day of rest and presence with God where we shall have peace. The commandments to keep the sabbath holy is about honoring God and welcoming this peace into our lives. Welcoming God into our lives means welcoming the rest of the sabbath--Shabbat Shalom. Welcome the peace.
This Shalom—peace—that Jesus brings with him is about resting in God as friends with him.
Tonight and tomorrow are the days of peace. Welcome the peace and shalom that come for Jesus comes at Christmas so that you need not be afraid and can truly have peace. There are a million things to worry about from the ran up credit card bills to pay for all the fun of Christmas to which family members can not be seated next to each other at Christmas dinner to the perfect gift you have ordered from Amazon who shipping has been delayed but delivery is promised by the end of the day on December 24 but you don’t think it is going to quite make it.
Jesus comes in the midst of this and says rest in me. Embrace the Shalom and peace. Jesus comes to take away not just your sin but your fears and anxiety. Jesus comes at Christmas to welcome you back into friendship with God where you need not worry or be afraid ever again. Jesus comes to take away your sins and bring you his peace which passes all understanding. Christmas dinner may not be perfect and that package from Amazon may not arrive in time but when it comes to the stuff that will really matter God has totally got this.
Christmas is an exciting time because of all the secular festivities. Enjoy the secular activities and look forward to Santa sneaking into your home through the chimney tonight. But in the joy and excitement and the mad rush of Christmas celebrations make room for the Prince of Peace and experience a deeper joy than you have ever known.