Here’s a sample of some of the best Christmas gift ideas for 2023: For the kiddos there’s the Tote-a-Fort The Original Kit; There’s the Breeo Outpost Grill, which anchors reliably over any sized blaze for the hungry outdoorsman in the family; Then there’s the Glerups Wool Slippers Open Heel – Slippers are a classic gift that most everyone is happy to receive. And finally for Fido and Fufu, there’s a Custom Pet Portrait Pillow, a pillow you can get with your pet’s your face on it. Interestingly, I didn’t see the gift of peace on any list. Despite being priceless in real value, peace doesn’t have much commercial value these days!
Yet, the world is searching for peace! There is a deep yearning for peace among nations, peace between people and inner peace sought by individuals. And yet, the hope for peace in its various expressions seems to be overrun by the chaos, pandemonium and conflict of our day.
As God’s people, we know real peace is not found in a product, but in a person. In fact, the greatest gift of all – the source of true and lasting peace, known in Scripture as the Prince of Peace – was born in a manger 2000 years ago in Bethlehem:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government will be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
The Hebrew word for “peace” in this verse is shalom, a word often used in reference to an appearance of calm and tranquility of individuals, groups, and nations. But shalom carries deep and profound meaning beyond a simple lack of conflict. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, shalom means “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.”
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to bring a relational peace between God and man through His death – for “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). And how do we enter into that peace? Through faith – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” (Romans 5:1).
Our position of being at peace with God in Christ also includes the peace of God that comes not from the world, but from the Holy Spirit: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).
As a result of this peace granted by the Prince of Peace, we then can live in relational peace with other believers in the “bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Lastly, our testimony of peace to unbelievers can be powerful! For Hebrews 12:14 states, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Yes, one of the greatest gifts of Christmas, a gift to be shared with all people, is the gift of peace granted by the Prince of Peace. May you be filled with true peace found in the Prince of Peace, Jesus, this Christmas season and beyond.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).