For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus is the prince of peace. We live in a world torn apart by war. The news is filled with instances of violence and unrest. This was true at the time of Jesus, is still true today and will most likely be true in the future.
Yet political and physical safety isn’t really what this phrase means. We translate the word as peace, yet a more accurate word is ‘Shalom’. Shalom is calm, tranquil, unity, being in accord, being restored to God and others. This is the foundation of what Jesus teaches – being in unity, being restored to God. All of Jesus’ healings enabled people to be restored not only with God, but with their community.
Paul uses the Greek ‘Eirene’ to speak about the role of the church – it is similar in meaning to Shalom. As Christians we should project calm and tranquillity in a world of unrest, being the calming presence. We should be united in our love for our neighbours, share a common goal – the kingdom of God. We should be restored with God and others, as well as helping others to be restored to.
As Christmas rapidly approaches, we remember that the angels announced ‘peace on earth’ at Jesus’ birth and that many of our carols remind us of that peace, the peace of God that passes understanding. In the last days of advent, we could spend time sharing peace with those around us, building unity and helping restore relationships.
Prince of Peace,
thank you for coming and dwelling among us.
Give us peace, that we can be beacons of calm and tranquillity.
Help us to restore our relationships, where they need to be.
Come among us this Christmastime.
Be with us in the joy, the celebrations, the gifts.
Especially be with those who will find this time difficult;
Let them feel your peace, your love, your care.
You can download this Prayer for the Week here
Prayers for December written by Revd Claire Rawlinson
Image by Gareth Harper on Unsplash