First Week of Advent 2019
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
“In the days to come…. He will wield authority over the nations and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.” Isaiah 2:4,5
We are now approaching the holy Season of Advent. These are special weeks of prayer and spiritual preparation for us to celebrate the joyful feast of Christmas. We will remember again the first coming of Jesus, the Prince of peace to our world. Jesus is coming back again and He will be looking into the lives of all who follow Him to see if He can find the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives, one of which is the fruit of peace.
Our world is desperate for peace and for stability to come especially to those parts of our world where there is war, famine and disease. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 9, we read of this being one of the many titles of the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. Jesus is our Messiah and He is the Word of the Father now in flesh appearing.
‘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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6
As we begin the beautiful season of Advent, the joyful Season of Love, we remember when the Treasure of Heaven, the Babe of Bethlehem, Our Lord Jesus was born for us at Christmas. At His Birth, a new world order was established which had been planned by the Father before the creation of the world. It was the Father’s perfect plan to send One like us in every way except sin to be our Saviour. Jesus is the Gift of the Father. He gave His own perfect Son who would be the price for our salvation. Through His Birth, Life and supremely His Death Jesus would be the Instrument of the Father’s peace. Through His Blood shed on the Cross, Jesus would grant us this peace. Our world needs our prayers. During Advent, we can reach out in love and help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We can pray for the many troubled parts of our world and ask for the Kingdom of the Father to be established and the peaceful reign of Jesus to rule over our hearts and lives. We can provide items for our School Hamper appeal and the St Chad’s Sanctuary items being collected.
Over the crib of Bethlehem is the shadow of the cross of Calvary. The holy Lord at His humble Birth was laid in a rough wooden manger which was used to feed animals and store food for them. Later in His life as He died, Jesus would be hung on a rough wooden cross to redeem us and bring us the peace which only He can give. The word ‘peace’ in Hebrew is ‘shalom ‘which means wholeness and wellbeing deep inside our hearts, minds and souls.
As we begin a new Church Year let me wish you all a very Happy New Year! We begin the wonderful ‘Year of the Word’ – The God who speaks – and we focus during this year on the Holy Gospel of St Matthew. During Advent, be encouraged to read more scripture, beginning with the account of the Birth of Jesus Our Saviour. You can find the most wonderful story of the first Christmas in these verses: Matthew 1:18-2:23.
May this new ‘Year of the Word’ help us to rediscover this great God of ours. May we seek to listen attentively and with discernment to what He wants to tell us about Himself and His merciful tender love in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.
Our prayer this week: The First Week of Advent:
Lord, renew in me a living sense of joy for your coming, that this grace may overflow in praise and thanksgiving as we pray ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come!’ Amen.