“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. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
I have written about peace this Advent season already, but the immensity of unrest in our world justifies speaking of it again. The world looks for the solution to unrest in many places. If we just had the right politicians, we would obtain peace. If we had an equitable redistribution of wealth, we would obtain peace. If we, by our human will power, atoned for the sins of our fathers, we would obtain peace. If we just had a little more money to throw at the problem, we would obtain peace. But all of these are like throwing water on an oil fire. They only make the situation worse and cause the fire to spread. The trouble is that we are trying to fix the problem with the source of the problem. We live in a fallen, broken, and wicked world and we are fallen, broken, and wicked people. The solution has to come from outside of this imperfect world and indeed it arrived over 2,000 years ago. Isaiah’s prophecy calls the Messiah, the “Prince of Peace.” He not only brought peace to the world, but he is himself peace. Why is this? It is because he is the sinless Son of God. The song I have included here is new to me. It is a more contemporary Christmas song. Well, contemporary to the years that the Lord has given me. Come with me and meditate on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. So “with pounding heart I stare, a child, a Son, the Prince of Peace for me.”
WHERE SHEPHERDS LATELY KNELT
Where shepherds lately knelt
and kept the angel’s word,
I come in half belief,
a pilgrim strangely stirred,
but there is room and welcome there for me,
but there is room and welcome there for me.
In that unlikely place
I find him as they said:
sweet newborn babe, how frail!
and in a manger bed,
a still, small voice to cry one day for me,
a still, small voice to cry one day for me.
How should I not have known
Isaiah would be there,
his prophecies fulfilled
With pounding heart I stare:
a child, a Son, the Prince of Peace for me,
a child, a Son, the Prince of Peace for me.
Can I, will I forget
how love was born, and burned
its way into my heart
unasked, unforced, unearned,
to die, to live, and not alone for me,
to die, to live, and not alone for me?