Peace… Goodwill… to all men. A testimony of Christ and what it means to the world given to us by the angels at His birth. But these days, 2,000 years later, peace seems awful hard to come by. The world certainly doesn’t appear to be at peace. The Middle East, China, Russia, South America, Central America, Africa… just about every continent on the globe is in turmoil and at war of some kind. Not peace. Nationally, it seems that we have never been more volatile, more angry, more divided. Riots, property destruction and shootings have become commonplace. Not peace. What about in our homes? Our families are not even able to get together for the holidays without a caveat that there will be no conversations about politics or religion. Not the picture of peace and love. How about individually? We all seem to be struggling with our emotions and identities. Our jobs, and even our lives, seem to be at risk. Our ability to provide for our families is at risk. The pharmaceutical industry is making millions off of our stress and emotional disorders. Even our drugs have so many warnings that we are stressed about our stress drugs. Our lives have become more of a rat race than we ever imagined possible. With no end in sight. Where is the peace?
Outside of Bethlehem so many years ago, God sent a message to the world:
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
That message was the announcement that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us, the Prince of Peace was born. It was a statement and a testimony of the power of God Who is the embodiment of peace. Not simply that everything was going to “be ok”, but that in Christ all will be at peace. The battle that raged between God and man would be over. In Christ, there would be peace. The battle that rages in the heart of every man and woman, the battle between flesh and spirit, would be over. In Christ, there would be peace.
The Peacemaker, the angels declared, is born…
The One who will bridge the chasm between God and man
The One who will shed His blood so that we would live and not die
The One who gives us faith, hope and love
The One who came to love us, not condemn us
The One who came to help us, not hurt us
The One who came to save us, not destroy us
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” – John 14:27
That promise, that gift, is not for tomorrow. It is not for the “sweet by and by”. It is for today. It is for now.
The troubles that surround us may continue, but we can walk through the valley of death and be at peace. We can take each step while our hearts are filled with peace. A calm confidence in the love of God. The assurance that no matter what happens in our lives or the world, we belong to Him and His love will always be with us.
Receive what He has given us. Don’t let the world steal the precious gift of peace that began Christmas morning over 2,000 years ago.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.