One minute I am sitting next to my beautiful wife, listening to the music of advent. The next minute, the world is spinning…literally. In the middle of the concert, a dizzy spell comes on, and my first thought is, “Lord, why now?” As the dizziness continues, I pray for peace.
The reminders abound, don’t they? Racial unrest, war, disease. These are our constant companions in the world. And then, there is this brief, but annoyingly distracting dizzy spell. The world is not as it should be, so we find ourselves longing for peace. Where shall we go to find that peace? That is the question, and sadly we so often will answer that question in all the wrong places. We direct our longing for peace to the hope of a new job, or a new relationship, or a new location. The problem with this strategy, though, is that the source of our unrest is not on the outside, but on the inside.
This advent season we are trying to put words to those longings of our heart, and it is hard to find a more appropriate word than Isaiah 9:2-7. This longing for peace is not unique to our fast paced, consumer driven, activity laden lifestyle. It is an ancient longing, and in Isaiah chapter 9, we have a prophecy pointing us to the Prince of Peace. Those would have been words of comfort to a people living in the darkness of sin some 700 years before Christ, just as they are words of comfort for us today.
This week as we anticipate the annual celebration of the coming of this Prince, our hearts anticipate the once and for all culmination of his reign. As we anticipate, we will also worship the One who has come to bring peace in a world spinning out of control, because the thing that can satisfy our longing for peace is not really a thing, but a person…Jesus Christ.