The birth of Jesus was the fulfilment of many prophecies. Because of these prophecies, the children of Israel had been hopeful that one day there would be a Messiah who would come and rescue them from the tyranny of Rome. Perhaps they thought the Messiah would be someone like Moses or Samson and he would act in the same way to rescue his people, with a strong fist. Their idea of the Messiah was wrapped in expectation of a man who would stand against Rome and lead a revolution against the whole Roman empire. With this expectation they looked forward to the day when the Messiah would finally come to their rescue.
The day of the Messiah’s arrival finally came. But no-one had a room available. Had the innkeepers but known this mother and child were the Messiah and His mother, I wonder if they would they have gone above and beyond to make a room available for Him. It makes me consider whether those of us who know Jesus Christ is coming again soon are in danger of being like those innkeepers. Are we truly prepared and ready? We don’t want to be caught unawares as they were.
As we ponder this, let’s consider where Jesus is in our hearts. Have we shovelled Him into a manger, at the back of our hearts, because we are preoccupied with all the ‘stuff’ that seems more important? Isaiah’s prophecy pointed out that the Messiah was the Prince of Peace. The time on earth when Jesus arrived wasn’t a peaceful season, but the peace that Jesus brought was a peace that was ‘in Him’, not a peace from wars and trouble. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace” (John 16:33). We can only experience His peace when we are in Him, despite the troubles in the world.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but it is only by making room for Him and reaching out to Him that we experience His peace, which surpasses human understanding. During the Messiah’s time on earth those who walked with Him experienced the gift of peace, even though it was not a peaceful season in the world’s sense.
We too can have peace amidst the storm and chaos of this world. We can experience the Prince of peace amidst the pandemic. Our peace is not determined by the surrounding circumstances, but by making a room for the Prince of peace to dwell with us (Immanuel). The peace that Jesus gives surpasses our understanding. He is with us, if only we make room for Him. ‘If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea’ (Isaiah 48:18).
You might have lost a loved one, and you might not be surrounded by your family this season. Yes, it has been a difficult year, forcing us to change our ways of living in unexpected ways, but my prayer for you is that you reach out to our Prince of peace, to the Child who was born to us and to a Son who was given, so that you can experience all that He is, including His peace in this stormy season.
Prayer: Light of the world, I invite you to light up my life in these dark days, so that I may walk in your light. Be my Shalom in these days that are full of uncertainty, that I may know your peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
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