Name Above All Names: Prince of Peace

I have always loved the title for Jesus, “Prince of Peace.” It speaks of a deep hope for God’s work in our world, to reconcile our differences, to put an end to war and damaging conflict. I know this is a very large hope, one that often seems so distant. Yet the early Christians felt called by God to a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), spiritual work that is vital to every age and church. We live in a time so given to anger, whether around the state of the world, politics, or frustration with the busyness of life. For some of us, the response to our differences is to get louder, which rarely helps. Jesus as the Prince of Peace invites us into a way of facing ourselves and conflict so that God is able to speak, work and be present where the tensions are high, where people are likely to get pushed aside or be hurt. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to learn to do the important work of peace-making.

In the apocryphal Wisdom of Sirach, there is a helpful proverb: If you open your mouth against your friend, do not worry, for reconciliation is possible. But as for reviling, arrogance, the disclosure of secrets, or a treacherous blow—in these cases any friend will take to flight (22:22). That makes sense to me. We’ve all seen relationships disintegrate because someone went too far. They said or did something that was over the top. As the Prince of Peace, Jesus invites us to respond in ways that leave a door open, a way that expresses honest concern but does not insist on our demands at the expense of another. Our wanting to be first, to be heard, to make sure we get our own way may be counter to the Prince of Peace. This is rarely an easy lesson for us.

I think of the state of our nation and the hard realities where, for instance, racism and hatred seem so apparent and close to the surface. Surely this breaks God’s heart. I know in this time of year many of us are stressed and on edge. It doesn’t take much for us to erupt or lash out. Know that God is with you in these days and especially in these moments. Know that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, comes especially for us who are worn out from our chaotic and demanding world. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, calm and enlarge all of our hearts as we worship this Sunday and Christmas.

Senior Pastor Dave Summers
pastordave@pvumc.org
Office: 602-840-8360 Ext 131

“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”

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