The English word peace is thrown around so often with different depths of meaning that when we encounter it in the Bible, our tendency is to gloss over it without really trying to understand it. Sometimes, we associate it with the absence of noise or the lack of trouble in our lives.

When Jesus was referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6, was He supposed to put an end to all war and human conflict?

Was He going to bring of security in our financial and health condition?

Will He provide confidence in the justice system and the police?

Will He give a high level of certainty in the nation’s economic forecasts and employment statistics?

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is shalom and in the broadest sense, it means a wholeness of life or body.

Jesus as Prince of Shalom implies two things:

There is no wholeness apart from Jesus.

Christmas is a season to celebrate with family and friends and to exercise generosity to them and to others. However, even when we have it all—a picture-perfect family with no conflict and a lot of money—without Jesus in the picture, there will be a prevailing sense of incompleteness.

Something will always be missing, and unless we encounter Jesus and follow Him, all these other things that make us temporarily happy will not sustain us beyond the parties and the gifts.

On the other hand, Christmas can also magnify what is missing in our lives—a loved one who passed away or who left home, romantic relationship, or money to buy gifts for everyone you care about. For many of us who are experiencing any of these, know that as we follow Jesus . . .

His presence in our lives is enough to make us whole.

He brought us reconciliation to our broken relationship with God the Father. (2 Corinthians 5:18)

He sets the solitary in a home, thus, bringing us to a spiritual family. (Psalm 68:6)

He satisfies us with good things (Psalm 103:5). When we open our eyes to things we can be grateful for everyday, we will recognize this in the midst of any circumstance.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace—the only one who can bring wholeness to our lives and our being. He came to give us assurance that we can experience wholeness and peace despite the brokenness and chaos in the world.

In which area of your life do you need to experience the wholeness and peace that Jesus brings? I pray that you will encounter Jesus the Prince of Peace as you celebrate Christmas.