“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders, and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” (Isa 9:6 NRSVue).
If humankind ever needed the Prince of Peace it is now. We live in a time when personal, family, church, national and international peace is in short supply. Yet, our discomfort differs little from Paul’s time. There was unrest within the church at Galatia. Rome ruled with a mighty power never before experienced. Paul was so divided from Peter and the other apostles about whether the Gentiles should convert to Judaism that he feared for his life. A decade after Paul wrote to the Galatians, Nero began persecuting Christians.
What did Paul mean by peace being a fruit of the Spirit? The peace we crave in our lives isn’t something that happens outside of us. It’s the result of allowing the Holy Spirit to reside in us and support us to the point that we are at ease because we know in our deepest heart that God is with us no matter what the circumstances. Take a minute and let this soak in. God is with us!
For this peace we must be present to the Spirit, although our society values business over quietude. Brené Brown writes, “Being present requires inner stillness, and good Christians can easily have lives that are so full that there is no space for the cultivation of this stillness.”
As we go into the business and busyness of Advent and Christmas, let’s make time to sit with the Holy Spirit. Let’s allow God to quiet our fears and pains. Let us feel and rejoice in the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Karen Kaigler-Walker, President
FUMCFW United Methodist Women