For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This week we light the second candle of the Advent wreath. It is traditionally called the Peace Candle. It is a reminder that the Christ-child will bring peace to a troubled world.
That is good news to our ears. World and national events speak to us of discord and conflict. In our personal lives we seek tranquility and calmness.
We are not very different from the people who crowded the streets of Bethlehem when Christ was born. Rome had forced its will on the nations they conquered. The soldiers that were on the frontlines of expanding the empire were now on every street corner. With brute force, they compelled the citizens to tow-the-line.
It was called the Pax Romana – the peace of Rome. It was a misnomer. Rome was not at war, but it was not peaceful. Peace is not just the absence of something – it is the presence of something.
Christ comes to fill us with peace. Christ does this, not with military might and political prowess, but with his very presence in our lives. As Isaiah said, he is the Prince of Peace.
Beginning the week of December 21 there will be a celestial show that all the world will be able to see. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will align in such a way that they will appear as a super bright “star” in the evening sky. The last time this alignment occurred it was March 4, 1226!
When we bring our lives into alignment with Christ, his peace will shine from our lives like a double-planet. And that is good news for the rest of the world.