"And He shall be called counselor, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace". When I hear this common scripture reading from Isaiah, I picture the calm serenity and given peace of a candle light service in a small country church on the eve of Christmas day. Not a sound is present except for the soft, soothing voice of a soloist singing "O Holy Night", filling the church with an invisible beauty. The candles flickering, representing the hope and peace that is flickering in the hearts of the of the people sitting in the padded wooden pews.
Christmas holds so many memories for people, and for me one of those memories is the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Although my experience is not identical to the description I wrote above, it still holds a very precious place in my heart. I can remember one very, very challenging year of my life, in which all I wanted for Christmas was the candlelight service. All I wanted was that one and a half hours of traditional Christmas hymns, the reading from Isaiah and the glow of those candles in a dark church. I could care less about the giving and receiving of gifts, food, family gatherings, and any other secular "holly jolliness". Why? Because so much of my life was lacking peace. I had Jesus, but I didn't have much peace. I know that I wasn't alone at that time, and I also know that many people who are reading this know exactly what I mean.
How many of us have heard the phrase "Prince of Peace"? We hear, see and say it multiple times through the Christmas season, but how many of us actually take the time to understand what the phrase means? Instead, we just think it is another nice name for Jesus; more eloquent than "shepherd" and more English sounding than "Adonai". Friends, there is a reason why this phrase was given to describe that precious baby in the manager. There is a reason why "beautiful baby" and "precious" was not used in description of such a strange way to save a world. In a world of pain, sadness, deception and confusion, Christians are to cling to and claim the peace that comes from the salvation of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus was completely calm with his disciples in the midst of a hurricane of a storm and spoke to the elements, taking authority over the chaos and destruction, so must we take hold of the peace that is ours this Christmas and throughout the rest of our lives on this earth.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."-John 14:27