6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. IS 9:6 NIV 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21 NIV This time of year it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. As we’re busy putting up the tree and lights, writing cards, and braving the holiday shopping crowds, we can quickly find ourselves stressed and out of sorts. I recently heard lyrics on the radio that I can really relate to, “I need a silent night, a holy night. To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise. I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here. To end this crazy day with a silent night.“ Maybe you can relate as well as you prepare for the Christmas holiday. Amidst all the noise and distraction, we can so easily forget that Christ came to give us peace. Christ came to end the age-old war of rebellion against our heavenly Father that our father Adam started so long ago. He came to bring peace on earth and good will to men. He alone is the Prince of Peace. Often when we host wilderness programs, our participants are taken by surprise by the sense of peace they experience in the still of night staring at a sea of stars, or watching the first light of sun paint its beautiful purple and orange hues on the distant horizon as they sit perched atop a lofty mountain peak. They are amazed at the perspective and the focus they receive just from spending some time alone with the Lord in His wondrous creation. They often return to their daily lives with a sense that their burdens have been lifted and their hope restored. They begin to appreciate anew that their Savior is truly the Prince of Peace and they can trust Him to accompany and strengthen them wherever He might send them. My hope for all of us this Christmas season is that we take some time to get way from the noise and crowds and draw close to the Prince of Peace. May you find some precious moments to gaze up at the starry night and remember that first silent night when the Shepherds of old saw the sky filled with Angels and heard the triumphant declaration that a Savior had been born in Bethlehem. May this glorious truth permeate your very core and fill you with the knowledge that no matter what storms may come, you may know true peace because of Christmas, because of the gift of God’s only begotten Son who is the Prince of Peace!