In this year of 2020, peace has often been very illusive as the COVID pandemic unfolded in the United States and around the world. Most families were affected when close friends or relatives became ill with the virus and possibly lost their life to the illness. Routines were upset, gatherings of family events, vacations, work sites all fell victim to the ravages of the virus. Those in healthcare worked long grueling hours to save lives, only to see blatant disregard of safe living boundaries to prevent further spread of the virus. Meanwhile, Presidential leadership of the USA was up for the people’s vote and many months of political and social unrest followed a tumultuous course. Where was the peaceful life we envisioned with our family and friends?
Peace is personal. It begins quietly and slowly settles into the whole being of self. There are many triggers that can upset the balance. Illness, disability, work pressures, family or friend relationships or death, governmental unrest, homelessness, hunger, accidents, etc. to name a few problems. A true lasting peace will continue despite distracting forces that threaten to undo the quiet. Seeking a Higher Power will lend the support that is needed. When Jesus came as a newborn baby it was very unlikely that He would live out His title of “Prince of Peace.” What could a baby give to a troubled world? How could He defend Himself against a ruthless king named Herod?
In the plan that was outlined in ancient scripture, Jesus slowly grew up and became the answer to the world. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “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.” He did not broadcast His purpose unless people asked Him. He spoke in parables and often His disciples did not understand. After His death and resurrection, many of the scriptures became alive in meaning. He told His disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We can claim the same promise as we face our turbulent times. May you find comfort in these words, knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the true source of calm, quiet, and harmony, a powerful source to overcome troubling thoughts and emotions. In this season of celebrating His birth, may the true peace of Jesus Christ flow through your heart and out to your loved ones.
Miriam (Mim) Mast serves on the Board of Directors for Anabaptist Disabilities Network. She has worked as a Registered Nurse and is an adjunct nursing instructor at Bethel College, Mishawaka, Ind. Mim has an adult daughter with intellectual disabilities. She attends Pleasant View Church, Goshen, Indiana.