Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Brings Peace

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

Peace on earth.  Peace seems to be a universal desire; something everyone can relate to no matter where they are. We talk a lot about peace this time of year, but what about peace in us? With all the hustle and bustle, peace might be the first thing crowded out of the Christmas season.

Through the birth of Jesus, God gave us a beautiful gift - the gift of peace in the Prince of Peace.  It is one of the key themes of Christmas as we sing about it in carols, light an advent candle for it, and a heavenly host proclaimed it in the Christmas story in Luke - Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Luke 2:14 Christmas is the dramatic reminder that Christ came into this world to redeem us and to bring peace to our troubled souls.

Christmas Brings Us Peace with God
Christmas is all about Jesus. Jesus Christ came into this world to set us right with God. He came to save us and to bring us back to God beginning with His birth and culminating with His death on the cross, which gave us the gift of eternal life. The Prince of Peace came to bring us peace through the forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with God. The first step toward the peace of Christmas is receiving the forgiveness of God.

Christmas Brings Us Peace with Others.
The whole history of redemption, including the birth of Christ and His death and resurrection, is God's plan to bring about peace between God and us, and then between us and others. We should be willing to make sacrifices for peace the way God did. Because we have peace with God, we can do His work of peacemaking, and peacemaking cannot take place without forgiveness.

At Christmas the often elusive “peace on Earth” can become even more aloof due to situations such as difficult family members, the death of a loved one, financial problems, isolation, and loneliness.  Christmas offers us the gift of peace within and the gift of peace with others, but we have to accept the gifts. If you want to have a “peace-full” Christmas, go in the spirit of love and fix those broken relationships in your life. If you are alienated or estranged or cut off or at odds with any other person, go in the spirit of Christmas and make peace. Don’t put it off any longer… drop your pride, drop your resentment, drop your grudges, and go set it right.  

The biblical word for peace is Shalom which means completeness. Nothing broken, only wholeness, unity and reconciliation. Isn’t that exactly what the Christmas message is about? The world is broken into many fragments, as are our lives. God stoops down beside us, picks up the pieces and makes something beautiful and whole out of the broken. In the same sense, Christ has come down to this earth to help us get back together with God who made us… and who loves us. That’s what that word Emmanuel means - God with us! God comes as the Christ Child to seek and save the lost. He makes us beautiful, whole, and complete in Him. He embraced the world through His Son bringing healing, reconciliation, and peace, all wrapped up in a bundle and lying in a manger. That little bundle is where we can find the peace this world so desperately needs, in The Prince of Peace. Go to the manger this Christmas and unwrap the gift of peace. 

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

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