by Mark Young, PHD, President of Denver Seminary

O come, O King of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind

Bid all our sad divisions cease

And be your self our King of Peace

Matthew 5:9

We’re all waiting, longing, yearning.  That’s why we sing, “O come, O come.”  It’s a cry of anticipation, a plea for someone to make everything that’s wrong in the world right, and everything that’s broken in the world, whole, and everything that’s ugly in the world beautiful.  We’re not at peace with the way the world is and we instinctively know that no politician, no sage, no warrior, and no earthly ruler can fix it.  So, we cry out, “O Come, O King of Nations, come!”

On the night Jesus was born, a heavenly host proclaimed that God’s glory would ring out in heaven and God’s peace would break out on the earth (Luke 2:14).  This grand announcement dropped Isaiah’s 700-year-old prophecy about the coming Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) smack dab into the middle of the roiling political, economic, racial, and social strife of first-century Israel.  The Romans had established order in Israel, but there was no peace.

Reminds me of our world today.  Can you remember a time when our nation was more divided?  We can’t even agree on what’s true, much less on what’s right and good.  We live in an age of outrage, with anger and violence simmering beneath the surface and erupting far more frequently that we’ve ever seen before.  So, we yearn for genuine peace, reconciliation built on mutual respect, trust, and compassion.  “O come, Prince of Peace. Come!”

And He has!  Jesus is the peacemaker.  The Apostle Paul says it this way in Colossians 1:19-20.  “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.”  The Prince of Peace has reconciled us to God and that is the only foundation upon which genuine peace between people, tribes, and nations can be built.  That’s why Jesus calls us who have been reconciled to God to be peacemakers on earth (Matthew 5:9).  And in making peace with others, we reveal the very character of our God.

Today, celebrating that the Prince of Peace has come, let us resolve to not only to be at peace with God, but also to be peacemakers so that others can find peace they long for in Him.