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.
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?