For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will
be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Prince of Peace.
The English dictionary defines 'peace' as:
1) n. the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world,
2) n. a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, esp. in personal relations,
3) n. freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquility; serenity,
4) n. silence; stillness,
5) interjection (used to express greeting or farewell or to request quietness or silence).
Peace - who doesn't want some of that?
I was leading a small group study last week and one of the main topics for the night was how life looks when we allow God to be in control of our lives, when we let God be the King of our little kingdom: God brings His peace. In Hebrew, the word 'shalom,' used as a verb, literally means to make whole or complete. When used as a noun, 'shalom' has the more literal meaning of being in a state of wholeness or without deficiency. And being made whole or at peace is not just with your spouse or kids, or this country and that country, but *"means well-being in every aspect of your life - your health, marriage, children, your relationship with your neighbor, crops, herds, vines, fruit trees, weather, feasts, worship and celebration," EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE.
The peace Jesus brings is not just to the part of our lives where we long for quiet and tranquility. It's not just for the part that wants the war in Iraq to end. It's not just in our households when we have teenagers. Not just in your workplace. And not only when the car in front of you cuts you off. There is not any area in our lives where God does not want to bring His peace. I think we all want it, we are just not very good at giving Him every area of our lives. So this just really has me thinking about what areas in my life am I OK with Jesus having? Where do I allow Him to come make peace? Where don't I? And even harder yet, why?
* from The Nature of the Kingdom study, week 4, referencing 1 Kings 4:20-34