Advent: He came with Good News of Peace
Isaiah looked with hope for God’s intervention – a child, Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6). The angel at Jesus’ birth echoed his words: to you is born a baby in a trough, Savior, Messiah, Lord.
What is a Prince of Peace? One who imposes peace – Augustus? Paul’s Advent meditation points to Jesus coming to proclaim peace (Isa 52:7) to those far and near (Isa 57:19).
But Jesus is not just the messenger or a conquering power commanding peace. Paul says Jesus himself is our peace. He’s writing to people in societies of intense conflict, with deep societal divisions and fears: Jew-Gentile, Roman-Greek-other ethnic groups, slave- free, male-female. Acts 19 show explosive fears, superstitions, and conflicts in Ephesus.
Paul had seen the how Jesus (as message and active presence) had brought together Jews, Romans, Greeks, the enslaved, the fearful into a new unity. It was who Jesus is – his life, message, cross, resurrection, Spirit – that embodied a new Adam, human being, the Suffering Servant of Isa 53, and that showed God’s purpose to unite everything in him.