Most of us have asked for a miracle—pled with God to intervene in a situation and redirect circumstances. But miracles can be messy. When they come they are violent. Not violent always in the sense we make think. What I mean is that they violate the status quo. So even when miracles result in peace the beginning may look a bit messy. The violence of the world stands in stark contrast to the way of Jesus—the Prince of Peace. When will we become the People of Peace?
The prophet Isaiah foresaw a day when “they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks…Never again will they learn war.” Isaiah 2:4 Weapons become farming implements. Violence will cease. But before that peace comes, violence must be done to the chaos and evil of this world. That is why Jesus said during His ministry “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mt. 10:34)
How can Jesus be the Prince of Peace and make a statement like that? To bring real peace—real shalom—the present kingdom of darkness must be overthrown by the kingdom of light. A statement Jesus made after His resurrection to the disciples gives us a clue as to how this will happen. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)
The Incarnation is about God on a mission. He means to restore His image-bearers and defeat the powers of darkness and He means to use us in the process. God became one with us by incarnation that we might become one with Him by the Spirit’s incorporation. And being one with God relationally we cannot help but be missional like God. Miracles are messy because they change the status quo. Lord, may we be messy peacemakers—shalom-bringers—image bearers. May the forces of darkness shudder when a peacemaker draws near just as the legion of demons cried out in the Gadarene demoniac when Jesus appeared on the other side of the lake in area of the dead—the tombs. May we have the fortitude to imitate Jesus and be a troublemaking peacemaker. What a glorious paradox. Miracles are messy. Lord send a miracle anyway! Your kingdom come, Your will be done.