We at CFWLA are celebrating this season of advent expectation with a four-part series of devotionals that seek to honestly acknowledge the depth of our brokenness and the far-reaching hope of the gospel, specifically in the work we engage with every day. Part two of our series will focus on Jesus as the Prince of Peace in a world of chaos. You can read the series in its entirety HERE.
Peace is an odd thing to consider during Christmas. From insurmountable traffic, to reunions with estranged family, to Q4 deadlines on the job, there doesn’t appear to be a much peace to spare.
Peace is an odd thing to consider during Advent. From rampant materialism, to underemployment, to the sickly emptiness we fear that we’ll feel back at work on December 26, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of peace to spare.
We are in desperate need of a new understanding of peace.
It is easy to trade true comfort for cheap tranquility. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, too often we seek the mudpie of paid-time-off because we cannot envision our work feeling like vacation. To be sure, the Fall has hampered our ability to rest. In fact, our rebellion prohibits us from entering into God’s rest at all (Ps 95:11).
We are not only in need of a new understanding of peace, but of a new Peace entirely.
Too often we forget that Christ came to earth not only to conquer sin, but to conquer chaos. From the beginning, we see a glimpse of God’s sovereignty over creation, even in its infancy where darkness abounded (Gen. 1:2). However, God didn’t intend to leave creation in a state of chaos but rather filled it with something—light, substance, life—and called it good.
This sets forth a pattern for his image-bearers to reflect his glory in the world, as well, through bringing order to chaos and calling it good.
The Fall of man presents us with the curse on the earth (Gen. 3:17) for man’s disobedience to God’s commandments.
But the story doesn’t stop there.
The chaos we’ve brought upon ourselves through breaking our covenant fidelity with God is ultimately restored through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
And one day, Christ’s second coming will do away with the chaos (i.e. the "sea" symbolized the dread of chaos in the ancient world) once and for all (Rev 21:1).
So, what about today?
We can have peace today because Christ himself is our peace (Eph 2:14). He himself is our peace. The first advent means that Father loves us enough to spare no cost. The crucifixion, resurrection and ascension mean that the Son will not yield his throne. Pentecost means that the Spirit is here until the end of days to comfort, convict, and conquer all our fears.
The Prince of Peace has come, and he has brought the Kingdom near. He is so much closer than you know. The Prince of Peace will come again, and he will consummate the Kingdom with his spotless bride, the Church.
You, your loved ones and your local church family will likely face an onslaught this season. The flesh, the world, and the enemy prey upon seasons of peace with chaos.
Maybe you’re facing a layoff, a demotion, or a promotion that comes at a high cost. Maybe the budget is tight and you don’t know how you’re going to bonus your employees before Christmas. Maybe you’re struggling with greed, doubt, envy, anxiety and strife in your work or lack thereof.
Maybe all of the above apply to you. Maybe all of the above feel like too much to bear. But he who has called you is more faithful, more true, and more real than anything we can fathom in this life.
May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus this Advent season (Phil 4:7).
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you. We thank you that you have never failed us, and you will not fail us now. We humbly confess that we have not loved you with our whole hearts. We have neither sought nor brought peace on earth in all our dealings and interactions this week, this month or this year.
Based on the finished work of the Prince of Peace, grant us strength to rest in all you have done, all you are doing and all you will continue to do. Help us to trade false rest for holy confidence, petty discord for compassionate humility, idolatrous coping for fervent prayer.
We receive your promise to uphold and sanctify us all the days of our lives. We believe. Help our unbelief!
Will Sorrell (MDiv and MBA Candidate, Beeson Divinity School and Brock School of Business at Samford University) is a graduate student researcher for the Beeson Divinity Global Center, focusing on faith and work, business as mission, and entrepreneurship and investing. He lives in Birmingham, AL. with his bride and Labrador retriever. You can follow him on Twitter.