Peace, for you.

It’s widely-hailed and well-advertised, a universally coveted virtue. Everyone wants it, and most people are willing to try for it, falling for the urban legend that peace is like weight loss, like there’s some sort of science to it. If this, then that. I’ll feel at peace if I’m productive…once my whole life is perfectly organized…once all my relationships are in order. There will be peace internationally if we advocate for it long enough…I will feel personally at peace if I’m an activist for peace.

The trouble is, we’ve equated peace to control. We’ve philosophically assented to peace meaning the ability to control our emotions to a constant state of zen – the ability to control our circumstances to predictability – the ability to ensure all of our relationships are harmonious at all times.

But my own experience proves the lie, because I have had peace in seasons when everything has felt entirely outside my control. I have felt peace at times when there is no practical, sensible explanation – when I should have been drowning, but I wasn’t. I’ve felt peace that has illuminated paths that were uncertain, like a singular compass in the wilderness.

I haven’t found true, deep, lasting peace in a planner or a workout routine or a clean house; I haven’t found it in any relationship or commentary or podcast, in a nonprofit donation or yoga class.

I have only found true, deep, lasting peace in Jesus – in the pages of His breathed-out Word and in the light of His presence.

Prince of Peace is the capstone to that infamous prophecy:
“For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given…and the government shall be on His shoulders…and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The capstone, the deep exhale at the end – Prince of Peace.

Peace is the oft-quoted slogan of the Christmas story: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace – goodwill toward men.”

I haven’t tried everything on earth, but I don’t need to to know that everything on earth fades and fails. In all my advent reflections, it seems that peace-week is always one that challenges me to the brink of my own emotional threshold. It’s the week I inevitably feel tapped out, tired and tried and worn thin, when circumstances feel so wildly outside my control. Maybe that’s the lesson.

Peace, on earth – found in the presence of Peace, on earth, with us.

Maybe the most difficult weeks and seasons are an invitation to trust Him and His promise – “I will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Me” …

We have peace when our minds are stayed on Peace, the person, Jesus – come to be our Peace on earth and our eternal Prince of Peace.

We have peace because God in His heaven, needless and satisfied, sent Jesus to satisfy our greatest need – reconciliation with God.

Peace – that Peace – is our most desperate need, and Christmas heralds its wondrous fulfillment.

Merry Christmas – there’s peace for you in Jesus.


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