December ’20: God Our Peace
By Jack Young
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This has been a very different and difficult year. The end of the year may be just as difficult and different. Even as I drove in my car listening to the Christmas music, there is a sense of eeriness. In the world around there is so much news about COVID and racial tension that is right next door. Not to mention the things that are often not broadcasted. How are you doing with all this? Where is the peace, you may ask? How can we pray in this time?
I am really glad to be in Pastor Paul Chan’s Total Growth group. We are learning about prayer in the current module. I have learned that Adoration (Praise) is the foundation to our prayer with God. Praise and adoration of God is an expression of how much we enjoy the object of our praise (God), and as such how much we enjoy our connection with Him and His love for us. So in this rather unusual and difficult time, instead of just praying for things or even for peace, I am learning that we can go into prayer and experience an appreciation of God through our praise of Him. I hope that my reflections of Isaiah 9:6 will help you draw closer to God our Peace. He is, after all, called the Prince of Peace.
I see four things from this verse. God our Peace is persistent in connecting us to the peace He offers. In the Old Testament He reached out to individuals personally, or through angels and prophets. He has not stopped reaching out to us in spite of our rebelling against him. Here in Isaiah 9 is a promise of His coming to us through the life of His only son. God our Peace comes to us in a tender way. He came to earth tenderly as a vulnerable child, not with mighty angel armies. God our Peace is trusting. He entrusted Himself in the hands of sinful hostile humanity. Finally, God our Peace reminds me of His self giving nature. He sacrificially offered His only Son, paying the ultimate price to bring that peace to us. He knew that Jesus would be brutally treated yet still He chose to reveal that peace to us through the cross.
God our Peace is a God who is persistent, tender, trusting, and self giving. This is a picture of a great parent and friend. Reflect on the times He has been persistent in pursuing a connection with you; reaching you in a tender way; trusting you in spite of your many failures. Experience the self giving of His precious son in a new way especially when you see the nativity scenes or sing the angel songs this season. Let us take time to adore this wonderful God and pour our hearts out with thanks.
So how can we pray when there is so much chaos and unrest around us and, perhaps even, inside of us? May we learn to not get caught up in the things that are happening around. Instead of just praying for God to give us peace, let us look up to God our Peace. Can we see this very difficult and unusual time as a blessing from Jesus? He reminds us “that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.” (John 16:33 The MSG) So can I invite you to draw close to God by looking to Him, the God our Peace? Learn to adore Him, to connect deeply with Him to experience His peace both within and outside of us. May the message of the birth of the Son draw us to the heart of God our Peace who yearns to reconcile us to Himself.