Armistice Day, VJ Day, and VE Day. We have all seen the black and white photograph of the sailor kissing the nurse on VJ Day in Times Square. These events were all celebrations of the advent of peace, the end of brutal and deadly conflict. Because the world had been anxiously hoping for peace and waiting for its coming, the celebration was grand, and the people were ecstatic.
Isaiah speaks of a coming peace that is much more than the absence of conflict. It is a peace that comes from being in a right relationship with God. A relationship initiated by God through His grace. Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we have access to the ultimate peace.
In Isaiah chapter 12 the prophet describes that peace to the nation of Israel and to us. Isaiah gives thanks to God who though he was angry with his people turned his anger away from the nation and instead provided comfort. Isaiah describes God as his salvation, his strength, and his might. Isaiah is describing a peace in which not only is he not in conflict with God, but he is experiencing the joy that comes from drinking of the water drawn from the well of salvation.
The celebration that follows from God’s provision of this peace is beyond anything we can imagine. Isaiah describes a celebration that goes way beyond fireworks, a ticker-tape parade, and giant newspaper headlines. In Isaiah 12:5-6 the prophet says
5 Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.
As we approach this advent and celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, celebrate the peace that comes through God’s grace.