“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14)

This past Advent season we spent out time examining the names given to the baby in the manger by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6). Although I’ve heard this passage many times, and spoken on it several times as well, this year I was given insights never seen before. That’s one of the amazing things about the Bible, for those of us who study it. The most familiar passages can constantly bring new meaning to our lives as we open our minds to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.

The last Sunday in December we were reminded that Jesus is our Prince of Peace. Peace is something that eludes a vast majority of the world’s population. Some are entangled in conflicts that eventually take their lives either through violence, disease or natural disaster. Others are engaged in conflicts of the soul, struggling with emotional or mental illness, various kinds of addictions or the hidden bruises of abuse.

Jesus IS our Peace. The word peace in Isaiah 9:6, is the Hebrew word SHALOM. SHALOM goes far beyond what most of us think of as peace. SHALOM peace, goes far beyond the superficial peace of prosperity, lack of conflict and good health. SHALOM peace goes directly to the very depths of the soul.

The real beauty of SHALOM peace? It’s unaffected by our circumstances. The day before I wrote this article, a dear friend of mine lost his wife (temporarily) to cancer. One day they will be reunited with their savior. It was amazing to watch her over the years. The disease ravaged her body, but her spirit remained at peace in the arms of her Lord and Savior. Renee was an inspiration to us all.

That brings up another aspect of SHALOM peace. In its essence, SHALOM peace naturally overflows to those around us when practiced gracefully. SHALOM peace isn’t concerned about political correctness, homophobia, intolerance or racism. The goal of SHALOM peace is to bring unity.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians states, “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Ephesians 2:14)

The disciple of Jesus Christ knows peace even during those times we are misunderstood, falsely accused, or ‘labeled’ because we know that our validity isn’t dependent on what others think, but on how God views us. ALL people are created in his image. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. That’s why he sent Jesus to be our reconciliation to him, and to have a ministry of reconciliation to others.

PRAYER: Father God, thank you for our precious Prince of Peace who stands by me in the most difficult of situations. Help me to live SHALOM peace in my own life so that it may spread to others. Amen.

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