Edward Hicks was an American folk artist who lived in Pennsylvania during the early years of our country. I’m willing to bet you know this iconic painting but not his name. He lived a quiet life as a Quaker minister who doubled as a coach maker and painter and who blended his spiritual life with his craft by bringing this imaginary world to life on canvas.
A charming scene… a dream…
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” – Isaiah 11: 6-7
Look closely and in the distance you will see a tiny assembly of Settlers with a group of Native Americans signing a peace treaty on the banks of a serene river. Because of the abundance of warm earth tones used associated with harvest and thanksgiving, the painting is autumnal in feeling and radiates peace, calm and family gatherings to our heart. With this comes a general feeling of friendship and brotherhood and the eternal hope for peaceful relations among all the members of God’s kingdom.
Hicks is reminding us that with Jesus, anything is possible…
Prince of Peace
“For unto 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.” – Isaiah 9: 6
How can we make Jesus our personal Prince of Peace? The answer is as simple as one two three:
When we pray we include Jesus in our lives.
When we read the holy scriptures we refocus our thoughts.
When we meditate on pictures of Jesus our hearts are transformed.
Prayer reminds us we are not alone.
Reading teaches us with all the wisdom of the ages at our fingertips.
Gazing, either through images, poetry, dance or song, fills our hearts and helps us to touch the divine nature of God that lives within us.
These are the trinity of peace.
Knowing this I can:
find the gift of any situation.
learn to walk around in another’s shoes.
become less self and more Christ centered.
Jesus becomes our Prince of Peace. He is heir to the throne of peace that lives within our hearts.
Without him, the center of our being can become crusted over with hardness imprisoning us with chains of fear and doubt. Yet the key to unlock the door is within our grasp. Nothing is impossible, only our pride shuts our prince of peace out.
Dear Jesus, Help us today as we struggle with our individual storms of doubt. Cast our eyes to the horizons of our faith. Teach us to lean on your promises once more. Look upon us with love- open our eyes to see your light that lives and reigns eternally.
In Jesus Name,
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16: 33