December 09, 2021 Cindy Goding

Peace

Peace

By Monica Goodwin


PEACE


I admit I was struggling this week to find something to share about Peace, our second week of Advent theme. I wasn’t feeling at peace at all this week and I was also struggling to find words for something I hadn’t previously articulated. As I was considering giving up on the topic completely, I looked up from my blank screen at our Christmas tree and took note that the word Peace was resting right underneath our angel tree topper. From my seat it almost appeared as though she was standing on it. Immediately my mind went to Handel’s Messiah, and with his music guiding the unfolding of the text, the words of Luke resonated, “And suddenly, there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’.”

If you are familiar with Messiah, you know that the recitative before the choir comes in with a resounding ‘Glory to God!’ is very excited and full of energy. It is a joy-filled exclamation that this news we are about to hear is important! And what important message did they bring? They brought a message of peace, that Peace is coming to earth from heaven bringing good will to men. You even hear this depiction in the music as the basses drop an octave when they deliver that first occurrence of “Peace on earth”, painting the audio picture of heaven come down to reside with us. 


I recently learned that the Hebrew word Shalom holds many meanings. Whereas I had previously thought it to just be a greeting of peace, I learned that it also, when used as a verb, means to make complete, to restore. This new understanding gave me such a deeper perspective as to what peace in the context of Christ means. 

The peace Christ brings is active, not passive. Peace heals relationships, mends brokenness, builds unity and the peace of Christ makes us whole. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, brings His peace to us all, a peace without end, a peace that is unattainable without Him and so amazing that a multitude of heavenly hosts filled the heavens with glorious praise. Can you even imagine that sound?

Reading these words through this new lens “and on earth peace, good will toward men“, the image of healing and restoration sent from God in heaven to mankind on earth to make us whole in Christ Jesus is profoundly moving. This is not just the absence of war or a state of calm, but rather an overwhelming sense of love, that God our Father would send us the restoring peace of Jesus so that we might reside with him forever, joining the multitude in singing never ending praises to God - “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace…”.


I pray that in this often hectic season we each might experience the precious joy of Peace that only Jesus can give. 


By Monica Goodwin