Our Hope Has Come – Peace – Sermon – Pastor Dave Page


Good morning First Baptist. We welcome you to worship this morning. Be sure to remember your brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the week as you pray for them, and as the Holy Spirit brings their faces to your mind. Be sure to also connect with them in the ways that are possible. And if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact the church through the church telephone and leave a message. (519-733-4144)

Call to Worship

This candle signifies the truth of our dream of God’s plan, of a world at peace;
Where enemies are reconciled, and children play in safety;
Where the poor and powerless find justice.

By this candle we remember God’s promise of a Ruler of Peace,
Filled with the Spirit of God, of wisdom and understanding,
Of counsel and might, of justice and faithfulness.

That’s JESUS – the one we celebrate this Advent season – Welcome to the second Sunday of Advent.

Welcome to Worship!




God of glory, You sent Jesus among us as the light of the world, to reveal Your desire for peace for all people. We confess that our sin and pride hide the brightness of Your light. Too often, we turn away from the poor; we ignore cries for justice; we do not strive for peace. In Your mercy, cleanse us of our disobedience, and pour out the gifts of Your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth Your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ.


Our God fulfills His promises and is true to His word.
We have confessed our sins.
God has forgiven us,
because Christ died for us.

Our Hope Has Come Peace

Today's Message

Scripture: Isaiah 9:1-7

The most weighty words in this portion of Isaiah’s prophecy come at the end: “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (9:7). Our God is zealous. I want you to hear and understand that early in the message this morning – yes this is the Advent Sunday of peace but please take the idea of “gentle Jesus meek and mild”as incomplete – particularly as we talk about this Title Prince of Peace. The Prince of Peace is also “zealous Jesus, brave and bold.” And Isaiah is saying in this prophecy that the “this” God intends to accomplish will occur with a “zeal” from the heart of no one less than “the Lord almighty.”

What does the word zeal tell us about God? My Hebrew dictionary defines this word as “envy, jealousy.” This Hebrew word is used for a husband’s jealousy for the love of his wife (Proverbs 6:34), for the envy that drives human effort (Ecclesiastes 4:4), for the love that burns in the hearts of a bride and groom (Song of Songs 8:6). But this very human word also says something about God. It describes His passion for our salvation, and it describes His desire for us to know and exist in a manner of Peace.

It’s because of that zealous and jealous love that we celebrate Jesus coming and His promised return during advent and this morning as I’ve indicated and as our candle would indicate – Peace – it shows up a couple of times in our reading both in vs. 6 and vs. 7 where in vs. 6 this messianic prophecy of Isaiah titles the coming one, Prince of Peace, among others.

This word Prince – is the Hebrew word Sar – and we should read it as someone who commands with authority. When you study this word, it also has a meaning or intention of Guardian Angel. The coming one is, yes one with power and authority, but also one that is looking out for His own. Then there’s this second part of the title – the Hebrew word Shalom. You are no doubt familiar with this word. “Shalom!” is probably the best known and most famous word in the Hebrew language. But its meaning is broad and is translated seventy different ways in one translation alone (NIV). Today, shalom is used to say “hello” or “good-bye.” In the Bible, depending on the translation you are using, it is used mostly in three different ways to mean something like “peace” (NIV), “peace/success” (KJV) and “prosperity” (NLT). The Hebrew translation of shalom is actually “completeness,” “wholeness,” “well-being,” or “welfare and peace.” It is derived from a root that means “to be complete” or “to be sound.” So, when shalom is best translated as “peace,” this peace is more than the mere absence of war or conflict. It describes a peace that is positive; a time, place, and condition that features love, righteousness, calmness, and much more. It is a word reserved for those who walk with God in the most positive of relationships. When God’s shalom is upon His people they are in the highest possible state of His grace. God’s coming King in Zion will proclaim “peace” to the nations (Zech. 9:10), so this morning as we think about peace, I want you to see peace from the perspective of a “peace” (shalom) that means wellbeing, rest, and security will be with God’s people. When Jesus stood among His disciples after His resurrection, He said “Peace be with you”. He used the Greek word eirene, which is the New Testament equivalent to shalom. He was giving the deepest level and meaning of shalom to His followers.

So, I’ve unloaded a lot of words on you this morning – here’s the summary of all that:

Our Zealous God – zealous for you, sent His Son – The Prince of Peace, who uses His authority to watch out for His own, so that they might know Shalom peace.  Shalom at the deepest level.

Friends, before we talk about anything more here, I want you to hear me loud and clear, so I’m going to say it again! Our Zealous God, zealous for you, sent His Son, The Prince of Peace, who uses His authority to watch out for His own, so that we might know Shalom peace. Shalom at the deepest level.

Our Saviour sees you and hears you and is with you!

Our Savior says:
I see the heavy load you are carrying;
I hear you wondering if you should give up;
and, I am with you through all of that. To give you strength and hope and peace. We so much want peace in our lives today.

When the great Atlantic Cable was laid, the first message that was sent across it was one by Queen Victoria to the President of America: “Peace on earth, good-will toward men.” This is the first great need of humankind. The time is coming when peace will be universal on the earth. In the meantime, however, peace can become the individual possession of each one of us.

“Peace with God”, and I truly believe peace with ourselves, can never really be ours without personal surrender to God on our part, yet peace is actually the fruit of the personal surrender of Jesus, our Saviour, and not of ourselves. Often, we are asked if we’ve made our peace with God. Though the questioner means well, this question is wrong. A better one is: Have you found peace. You see, Jesus is the instigator of our ability to find peace by His coming and His sacrifice for us. He Made Peace – How did He make it? Not by declaring it, that He did later. He made it by shedding His blood (see Col. 1:20).  By His death He satisfied all the requirements necessary for us to know peace, with God and with ourselves; Friends – Jesus, He is Our Peace.  He is the security and guarantee of peace with God. That’s why He tells us this in the greatest sermon ever preached; that we should look to be peacemakers too! Jesus said,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God”

— Matthew 5:9

As much as Jesus brought peace into the world by His arrival that we celebrate this Christmas season, Jesus also sends us as peacemakers. We are to be the instrument of His peace. We are the ones called to carry the banner of peacemaker, and let me be clear here, we aren’t given the choice of whether or not we would like to be peacemakers. Remember the title Isaiah gives to Jesus, the one we identified earlier, Prince of Peace, authority. If we are going to be true to our Lord, we must be peacemakers.

So, let’s unpack this term peacemaker.

Sometimes the best way to define something is making clear what it is not. For example, our world has some very real misconceptions of what it means to be a peacemaker.

  • Peacemaking is not the absence of conflict. Peace in the Bible is never to be confused with pacifism.
  • Peacemaking is also not the Avoidance of disagreement.  Putting our head in the sand, hoping that the conflict will end, only delays the inevitable.

So what did Jesus mean by peacemaker? The Oxford dictionary defines a peacemaker as one “who brings about peace” and so an appropriate working definition of a peacemaker for us this morning could be:

“Someone who is purposefully pursuing the reconciliation of people to God and to one another.”

Now, I also want you to look at this word peacemaker. Obviously, we can see that this compound word is comprised of two very common words: “peace” and “maker.”
The word peace in our passage from Isaiah is the Hebrew word shalom. We’ve talked about that world already. Remember, when a Jewish person said “Shalom” they were wishing on others the full presence, peace, and prosperity of all the blessedness of God. So then, the second part of the word in the term “peacemakers” comes from the Greek verb that means “to do” or “to make.” It is a word full of zeal in its own right. It demands action and initiative. Think about this in the context of our modern time. How many times have we seen the necessity of someone having to drag the combatants to the peacemaking table and give them a reason to put down their arms? This happens on the battlefield between countries, in the boardroom between corporations and sometimes in our own neighborhood’s. Let’s be honest, it can happen in our own living rooms too. Notice Jesus did not say “Blessed are the peacewishers or the peacehopers or even the peacetalkers.” Peace must be made. Peace never happens by chance. A peacemaker is never passive. They are always taking the initiative. They are making things happen by their actions!

So, when these two words are used together, “peace” and “maker,” we get a picture of someone who works towards more than the absence of conflict; they don’t avoid conflict (in fact, sometimes, peacemaking will create conflict); they aren’t trying to accommodate everyone.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Thus the peacemaker is a citizen, and though he be a Christian, he remembers that Christianity does not require him to forego his citizenship, but to use and to improve it for Christ’s glory.”

Jesus modelled this for us. He showed us that Peacemaking is a divine work. As Isaiah prophesied, God is the author of peace. And Jesus is the supreme Peacemaker. Jesus came to establish peace; His message explained peace; His death purchased peace; and His resurrected presence enables peace.

This messianic prediction was that He would be the “Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). The angels announced His birth by singing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14).
Just before He was crucified, some of Jesus’ last words to those He loved were, “Peace I leave with you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). and then When the Lord returned after the resurrection, His first word to the disciples was “Shalom.” “Peace be with you!” (Luke 24:36).

The life of Jesus was full with His mission to not only bring the peace of God but to launch the healing relationships of peace with God. He paid an enormous price for us to experience peace. Jesus saw the gravity of our problem and He refused to sweep it under the rug or stick His head in the sand; and only a drastic solution would suffice, so He “made peace” by shedding His blood on the cross. Jesus Christ is our foremost example in bringing peace in our hearts, our relationships, our church, our nation, and our world.

So, if our life’s journey is one of sanctification, through the work of the Holy Spirit to become Christlike, then Peacemaking must be a part of our calling. Unfortunately, as I suspect many of you know, that task, is rarely easy or pretty. And those who do it will often be misunderstood and unfortunately, when we read the words of Jesus, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” we say, “Oh, that’s nice.” But peacemaking is not always nice. Peacemaking can be messy and taxing work. It takes time and a lot of emotional energy. And, let me be real here as well, sometimes, peacemaking does not work. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he counsels,

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

— Romans 12:18

So yes, we are to live at peace with everyone. That is a pretty clear command. But Paul adds this all-important phrase, “If it is possible.” Sometimes peace isn’t possible. There are always going to be those testy and cranky types who just go through life picking fights with everyone they meet. You can’t always live at peace with people like that and you are not called to that either.

This second part of Paul’s phrase “as far as it depends on you.” is very important too. The true mark of a Disciple of Christ is the desire as much as the ability to get along with other people. The witness of a church should be its ability to get along with other people. We have a God-given, scripturally directed responsibility to pursue peace. The apostle Paul instructs us, “God has called you to peace” (1 Cor. 7:15). Does that mean we agree with everything others say or do? No. Sometimes we agree to disagree, agreeably. God wants us to be bridge builders. So, in the various contexts of our own lives, we should be asking, What can I do to build those bridges of peace? What steps should I employ to actively reconcile people to God and to one another? Here’s just two for you to consider:

A. Talk to God

I find it crucial to talk to the Lord about what I’ve done or what people have done to me before I talk to them. It gives me perspective and compassion. The Lord helps me see the deeper needs in the relationship and what has caused the problem. He, also, shows me my part, and often, my wrong words, behavior, or attitude that is hindering the reconciliation. Even if the other person is 95 percent in the wrong and I am only 5 percent in the wrong, I still have to confess my error.

B. Take the first step

Jesus is really clear on this necessity. Jesus said,

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift”

— Matthew 5:23-24

This, I believe, could be the most ignored verse in the Bible. We are to make the first move. Peacemakers take the initiative. “But,” you say, “Why should I go to the person when they are the one that is wrong.” Do you want the biblical answer? Because Jesus says so! Conflict is never resolved accidentally. That first step may be a text, a phone call, or a visit. If someone has wronged you or you have wronged someone else, take action today. Your peace of mind and your Christian witness depends on your taking the first step. Happiness awaits action like that.

C. Tell the other person how you feel

When you take the first step and speak to the other person, before you speak, remember the words of Solomon. Solomon wrote,

“A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath”

— Proverbs 15:1

Empathize with their feelings. Consider their situation. Attack the problem not the person. Cooperate as much as possible. Emphasize reconciliation not resolution. Reconciliation is always more crucial than being right.

I want to end this morning by circling back to what Jesus said during his sermon on the mount…

 “Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called sons of God”

— Matthew 5:9

Do you see this last part? We skip by that a lot,  “because they will be called sons of God.” When we choose to embrace peace and take the initiative to make peace, with ourselves and others, look at what Jesus says, “they will be called sons of God.” Sons, Daughters, both apply here, each of you will be called His Children and that will have two very specific impacts in your life:

  1. People will see you are different and know you are one of His; a Jesus follower and a Peace maker.
  2. The final thing I want you to look at this morning is this word right here: “called”. That word is the Greek word Kaleo which means, called, but how it’s used here is in the passive, meaning it’s not something we do, which would be active, this in the passive sense meaning it’s something we receive. The God of all creation, through His Son, looks at you and says: that’s my girl, that’s my boy, that’s MY

Jesus, through His zeal for you, is the guarantee of our peace and our salvation. When we truly come to know that we also then realize, “We didn’t do this. God did. This is the triumph of HIS zealous grace.” We, each of us, each of you, must have a profound experience of the shalom of God. No one can become a peacemaker until they have found peace themselves. We cannot give what is not real to us. Peacemaking begins with an experience of peace in our own hearts. We can’t make peace if we don’t have peace.

Question: Do you know the Peacemaker?

Have you come into a relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace? If you don't it's not too late, it's never too late for you to know Peace. Real peace. Peace that truly passes all understanding.


O God, in a world that seems to have gone crazy and lost its way, we come to You this morning, not just seeking answers, but seeking strength and courage for the days ahead. Father we are seeking PEACE. We pray for courage to be the people who You have called us to be. People who make peace through Your love for all of Your people. We confess that we struggle with questions that seem to have no answers and problems that have insurmountable solutions. We seem to be a deeply divided people. But as we look and listen to people around the world, so many seem divided and at war with one another, oh we humans must test Your patience, and yet we take great comfort in knowing that Your love is all encompassing, never ending, always forgiving.

This is our peace – that Your love for us is unconditional. You are our hope for the world, and it is in this hope that we live and move and have our being.

This morning we lift up those in our congregation who are sick or hurting in any way. Give them peace and strength to face their situations. Give strength to the addicted, comfort those who are victims of violence, help us find ways to feed the hungry. But God we also lift up those who are the bullies, persons who are perpetrators of harm, those who feel the need to put others down through name calling, jokes or worse, those that are peace takers, for these people too need Your love. Use people in their lives to show them a different path, a path of goodness and hope – Father use us!

Mighty God, we ask you to help us be change agents in this world. Give us courage to speak out about our faith, to teach those around us about Your love for all people, and to lead by example, just as your Son did for us. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.


We go now to the table to participate, together, in remembering the actions our Saviour took for us to truly know peace…

Fancis Assis – Prayer of Peace

More than 700 years ago now a remarkable man was born. Although he was the son of an Italian cloth merchant and destined to be a knight, he forsook the path of wealth and fame, choosing instead to wear a ragged cloak tied with a rope borrowed from a scarecrow. He spent his days preaching and giving to others. He chose to live in utter poverty.

History records that he was a noble, kind, humble, Christlike man – one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. We know him today as Francis of Assisi. Centuries after his death, someone translated one of his prayers into English. It was later set to music. Many of you know these words by heart.

Let’s say this together…

Peace Prayer of St. Francis Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Our Friends, this morning we celebrate the fact that in His dying, Jesus gives US eternal life.


Paul tells us, “On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Prayer for the bread

Thank You, Father, for this precious time of reflection on all that Christ did for us at Calvary. And as we partake of these hallowed symbols at this holy communion table, we humbly take this bread and bless it and break it, and eat it in remembrance of You, for Your own dear body was given for us. May we continue to walk worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus and live a life that is honouring to You.

In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

Prayer for the cup

Lord, may we also come to You today in grateful remembrance of what the Lord Jesus Christ achieved on Calvary’s cross for all of us, when He shed His precious blood on the cross, to pay the enormous price of our sin. Amen

Take these elements now and be thankful….



Be people of peace.
Let peace live in your heart and share the peace of Christ with all you meet.
Share peace by acting out of compassion and not fear.
Share peace by listening to all sides of the story.
Share peace by praying for our world.
In this Advent season, we need to see, feel, and share peace.
As you go out into the wonder of God’s creations, share peace and hope with those you meet. Amen.