Our Prince of Peace has come! And He said His peace is vastly different than the peace (and tolerance) that the world offers (see John 14-16). His is true, eternal, deep, and not circumstantial–that is to say, His working of peace, shalom, flourishing, in our souls does not depend on us, and cannot be changed by the world around us. It is a lovely advent practice to meditate on these verses:
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My steadfast love (hesed) will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
Isaiah 66:12 For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
Thoughts from my favorite philosophical theologian, Jonathan Edwards:
Christ’s peace is a virtuous and holy peace. The peace that the men of this world enjoy is vicious…it depraves and debases the mind. … The Christian tranquility, rest, and joy of real saints are not only unspeakable privileges, but they are virtues and graces of God’s Spirit, wherein the image of God in them does partly consist. This peace greatly differs from that which is enjoyed by the men of the world, with regard to its exquisite sweetness. It is a peace that passes all that natural men enjoy in worldly things so much, that it passes their understanding and conception (Phil. 4:7). It is exquisitely sweet, because it has so firm a foundation as the everlasting rock that never can be moved. It is sweet, because perfectly agreeable to reason. It is sweet, because it rises from holy and divine principles, that as they are the virtue, so they are the proper happiness of men. It is exquisitely sweet, because of the greatness of the objective good that the saints enjoy, and have peace and rest in, being no other than the infinite bounty and fulness of that God who is the fountain of all good.Jonathan Edwards,”The Peace Which Christ Gives” in Selected Writings of Jonathan Edwards, (Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, New York: 1970), page 129.