The time is near, the promise at hand. Soon the seed of hope, nurtured by love, will burst forth into joyous bloom. We light the fourth candle, the candle of Peace, and remember the prophet Isaiah’s words: “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 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, from heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing. — Edmund Sears
It is a great paradox of our existence that to walk in peace is to be at war with ourselves—with our broken human nature. We cry out for peace, yet we spurn the gift even as it is offered, and we are cruel to peacemakers. The infant King whose coming is trumpeted by angels with choruses of “peace on Earth, goodwill to men,” this Prince of Peace, will be rejected, tortured, and killed by the very men he comes to save.
And yet, his death will not be the final word. He will return from the grave victorious, his mission will be fulfilled, and his peace will, in the end, win out over hate, strife, and discord. It will fill the Earth. This is our hope, and our joy, sustained by a love beyond imagination. This is the promise of Christmas.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 54:10; John 14:27