The fourth Sunday of Advent | Peace
The Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 9:6 says, “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.”
Reading Isaiah 9:6 always brings to mind the utter beauty of Handel’s Messiah, the oratorio composed in 1741. In Part 1, Movement 12, the glorious sound of the instruments combined with the voices singing this Bible verse resounds with the power and the majesty that was found in Jesus.
But Jesus did not choose to embrace power and majesty on earth. Instead, Jesus embraced His title as Prince of Peace. According to Mark, Jesus the King rejected the power politics of the Gentiles (10:42). He entered Jerusalem totally unarmed. His rejection of the usual mechanics of state power scandalized His audience and continues to scandalize many today. No wonder those who cheered for Him in the parade rejected Him later.
Jesus’ humble entrance into Jerusalem redefined the nature of His upside-down kingdom. His servanthood approach subverted power and dominion. Through His new way, He ushered in a reign that transforms social and political systems to create a just social system that elevates servanthood. After all, “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
God’s way of peace does not follow the world’s scripts, such as “If you want peace, prepare for war.” Jesus chose death to bridge the gap between people and God. He chose to be the ultimate Servant. This Advent season, let us embrace servanthood as modeled for us all in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Amen!
— Nelson Okanya, EMM president