The final week of Advent calls us to meditate on how Christ brought the possibility of peace to the world through His coming into it, the Word made flesh. Through Christ, we may have peace with God, peace with other people, and peace within ourselves.
This peace is on a cosmic level, in that imperfect people may be reconciled to a perfect God. God can’t not be perfect. We can’t be perfect. Therefore, Christ took on our imperfections (sins) and gave us His perfections (righteousness). He became the great bridge and substitute so that men and women might have peace with God.
This peace is on an interpersonal level, in that people who have been hurt can forgive and not retaliate. Or people who society says should not care about each other do. People who have the upper hand can choose to step down or step aside for the good of another. This doesn’t always happen, but it is possible. And it is beautiful when it does.
This peace is on an individual level, in that a woman can learn to forgive herself, for things both large and small. A man can quiet the internal voice that tells him he is not enough. A girl can believe she has inherent worth. A boy can quiet his anxiety. Again, not always. But it is possible.
This peace is not a false peace. It does not overlook evil or reconcile unrepentant evil to good. There is a hard edge to this peace because it is a settled, true, real peace that absolutely passes understanding.
I do not pretend to understand this peace, but I am thankful for it and for the One who brought and brings it still today, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Julie Serven craves shalom for people and places. She enjoys writing for nonprofits, editing, helping people with literacy skills, hearing people’s stories, exploring all things OKC, yoga, NPR, and spending time with her ultracool family.