“Wild and Sweet” - Dr. Don Zent

December 19, 2016

“And His name shall be called . . . Prince of Peace.”  - Isaiah 9:6 NASB (1995)

This final phrase of Isaiah’s prophetic announcement of Christ’s birth describes in essence His mission to the world.  This peace, offered through the authority of God’s Son, suggests not only an inner peace within one’s heart, accepting salvation by grace and a peace with God through forgiveness of sins, but also an exterior peace with one’s fellowman.  And throughout scripture, many other passages express this important theme: “Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14); “My peace I give to you” (John 14: 27); “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 2:6). 

Peace is an inner calmness of mind and spirit evidenced outwardly by good will to those with whom we are acquainted.   Expanding on this thought, in the first stanza of Longfellow’s poem “Christmas Bells” he wrote during the American Civil War about hearing the bells on Christmas Day playing their old, familiar carols, “And wild and sweet, the words repeat, of peace on earth, good-will to men!” 

Peace is sweet when it is apparent through an inner absence of conflict.  But it is also wild when we are freely obliged to offer grace to those who do not deserve it; furthermore, rather than acquiescing to wrong and injustice, we are to be salt and light to the world, speaking the truth in love from the inner source of Christ’s peace.   

Let us daily accept inner tranquility from the great Prince of Peace, so that may we offer forgiveness and reconciliation to men. 


- Donald A. Zent, Professor of Piano

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