Summary: As Prince of Peace, Jesus came to bring us into harmony (shalom) with God, others, and within ourselves.
1. Isaiah 9.6-7; His Name will be Called:
* Wonderful -- He takes care of the dullness of life (meant to be exciting and abundant)
* Counselor -- He takes care of the decisions of life -- directs our steps
* Mighty God -- He takes care of the demands of life
* Eternal Father -- he takes care of the destination of life
* Prince of Peace -- he takes care of the disturbances of life
2. That's Our Tradition!
It is said that during a service at an old synagogue in Eastern Europe, when the Shema prayer was said, half the congregants stood up and half remained sitting. The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up. The rabbi, learned as he was in the Law and commentaries, didn't know what to do. His congregation suggested that he consult a housebound 98-year-old man, who was one of the original founders of their congregation. The rabbi hoped the elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual tradition was, so he went to the nursing home with a representative of each faction of the congregation.
The one whose followers stood during Shema said to the old man, "Is it our tradition to stand during this prayer?" The old man answered, "No, that is not our tradition."
The one whose followers sat asked, "Is it our tradition to sit during Shema?" The old man answered, "No, that is not our tradition."
Then the rabbi said to the old man, "The congregants fight all the time, yelling at each other about whether they should sit or stand..." The old man interrupted, exclaiming, "THAT is our tradition!"
3. Peace is more than the absence of conflict; it is order as opposed to chaos; God brought peace/order out of chaos in the beginning and still does through is Prince of Peace. (1 Corinthians 14.33)
I. Our Prince of Peace Resolves Our Chaos with God
It's not the parts if the bible I don't understand that trouble me, it's the parts I do. ~ Mark Twain
* Do you struggle with your shortcomings before God?
A. He Reconciled us to Himself -- 2 Corinthians 5.17-19
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
1. Return to favor
2. Prodigal son
3. HIS initiative
B. He Removed the Separation -- Romans 6.23
1. Does not ignore our sin
2. Paid our Price -- justice was done
C. He Revealed the way to peace -- Romans 5.1
Therefore, since we are justified by faith [declared righteous], we have peace [end of animosity and increased harmony] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Faith in God that is willing to follow Him
2. Abraham -- Romans 4.3-5
3 For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness." 4 Now to one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due. 5 And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.
II. Our Prince of Peace Restores our Connection with Others
A. Imagine God's Words of Peace -- Luke 2.8-14
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
[God's Intentions -- Our Actions
At the birth of Christ, the angels proclaimed Peace on earth, goodwill to men. But, when it comes to Peace, the world there is very little "Peace on Earth."
* In fact, statisticians say that since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than 8% of the time!