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Prince of Peace

Isaiah 9:6-7 (VOICE)
Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
    a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
    The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
    He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
    Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.
His leadership will bring such prosperity as you’ve never seen before—
    sustainable peace for all time.
This child: God’s promise to David—a throne forever, among us,
    to restore sound leadership that cannot be perverted or shaken.
He will ensure justice without fail and absolute equity. Always.
    The intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
    will carry this to completion.

Prince of Peace. Master of Wholeness.

Our definition of peace is a far cry from the Hebrew word for peace that Isaiah used – Shalom. Shalom is more than just the lack of conflict or war. It is when everything and everyone works and fits together for the flourishing of everyone.

Eugene Peterson writes this about the Prince of Peace:
As the prince rules, peace develops. He us thorough and complete in what he does. Peace is the harmony that comes from putting everything together so it fits. I try to get peace by getting rid of what irritates me; God gets peace by restoring everything to health. I try to get peace by getting rid of what I don’t like; God gets peace by loving the unruly and unlovely into a life-changing salvation. It try to get peace by saying, ‘Shut up. I don’t want to hear it anymore’; God gets peace by saying, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’

Peace comes from putting everything together so it fits. This is Shalom. When there is shalom, everything gets to work and function the way it was created to. Shalom pushes us to live in the comprehensive flourishing of every person and every thing, all at the same time.

We often function as though life is a zero-sum game. If someone else gets something I want, then there won’t be enough left for me. This is not the economy of the Kingdom of God. Jesus has come to show us a new way. A way in which we can cheer and root for everyone else without worrying about losing out on something ourselves. We are all created for different purposes and journeys. This is what the body of Christ looks like. Each member fulfills something that the rest of us may be lacking and we fulfill something that others may be lacking. Peace doesn’t only bring rest to our own souls, but it can change the atmosphere for those around you too.

Lectio Divina Practice
As you walk through the Lectio Divina today, read the scripture above and meditate on it, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you.

  1. Silencio: Come into God’s presence. Quietly prepare your heart to meet with and hear from Him.  Slow down, relax, release the noisy thoughts that crowd your mind over to him.

  2. Lectio: Read the scripture above slowly and out loud, let words resonate with you. Be aware of words that stick out to you. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, stop reading. Sit with it. Open your hearts to what God is saying to you. Underline the phrase, make notes of what you’re hearing. Don’t analyze it or judge it. Listen and wait.

  3. Meditatio: Meditate. Read the Scripture a second time out loud. Savor the words. Listen for any invitation that God is extending to you in this word. Reflect on the importance of the words that light up to you.

  4. Oratio: Respond, pray. Read the Scripture a third time. Now is the moment to enter into a personal conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text brought about in you? Talk about where you are feeling resistant or want to push back, and of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God.

  5. Contemplatio: Contemplate, rest and wait in the presence of God. Allow some time for the word to sink deeply into your soul. Yield and surrender yourself to God. Before you leave, you might consider a reminder that can help you dwell on this word throughout the day.

Family Moments
Read Isaiah 9:6-7 together. Talk about how Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Ask your kids what they think peace means? Discuss what the Hebrew word for peace is – Shalom. Have you ever experienced type of peace?