From Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
As Prince of Peace, You are often a troublemaker.
I consider You today, allowing my heart to absorb the enormity of Your Incarnation. I take inventory of the ways that You have filled my life with peace, and I realize that the path to peace is often messy conflict.
I am trying to take the gauzy film off the Christmas tableau and see the reality—with all its rough edges. It was so important to You to bring peace to my life that You gathered peace up into a body of flesh and brought the peace that was only in heaven into the environment of earth.
My Christmas-card mentality leads me to think about peace in sentimental ways. And then I remember that when You were born Prince of Peace in Bethlehem, it set the world on edge. Among the first responses to news of Your birth was violence:
“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men”
The final days of Your Incarnation was violent and bloody as You shed Your own innocent and holy blood on the Cross. In the days between Your birth and Your crucifixion, You ignited heated debate and stirred up controversy. You inspired anger so intense that Your enemies actively plotted Your death. Prince of Peace?
Peace comes at a price. Peace between You and me, peace in my own heart and life, and peace between me and others—all are mine at great cost to You. The peace You bring is not shallow or easily disturbed, but peace that has deep roots. It is grounded in You, not in the circumstances of my life. Peace rules the storms and the upheavals and the intrusions.
But the rule of peace in my circumstances does not come peacefully. To enter into the peace You were born to bring, I have to confront the truth about myself, the misguided beliefs I have lived in so comfortably, and the reality of what it means to surrender fully.
Some offer peace that comes cheaply, but it wears out quickly. “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14 NIV). You bring me the gift of real peace. Peace that lasts and lasts and lasts. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).
Yes, You are the Prince of Peace, the Prince of my peace.