Peace on Earth-Good Will Toward All

For many, the holidays are a time of joy and merry-making with family and friends. We all have our own traditions. What are some of yours? Christmas programs and choirs, gifts and cookie swaps and don’t forget the food. We love to consume some seriously good eats. Christmas cookies are my absolute favorite!

And would it be Christmas without watching the classics? My daughters and I traditionally sit and watch White Christmas after the Christmas tree is up and lit. I also love Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life and Elf is even starting to grow on me! I discovered a new one this year: Max Lucado’s, The Christmas Candle! It’s really good! And of course I’ve watched my fair share of Hallmark movies! I love happy endings.

But Christmas is not just about the happy ending, and gifts under the trees and lights and baubles. It’s about so much more. There are no happy endings for so many and most everyone is dealing with problems that we just put aside for the Holiday season and then they are right back staring us in the face on January 2nd! Also, not everyone’s traditions and family time are joyful, either. It may be the first holiday season after the loss of a loved one. There may have been job layoffs, loss of income, divorce, or it may be one where children are with the other parent; or maybe the family gets together but it’s guerrilla warfare.

What if Christmas isn’t very merry? What if you don’t feel very hopeful? 

I would like to draw us back to WHY we celebrate Christmas: A Prince of Peace has come!

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Hear the word of the Lord in Isaiah 9:6-7,

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.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

A child was born who brings peace. God offers terms of peace that He meets in the arrival of His Son. Isaiah, as we read, calls Jesus the “Prince of Peace” (9:6). I love the KJV: “On earth peace, good will toward men.” There’s expectancy. We know that peace comes through knowing Jesus Christ, by looking to Jesus, learning and following His way, meditating on His word, trusting in His promises. God is at work – always. Trust Him implicitly. Hang on to Him at all times, giving thanks, for He cares for us!

Philippians 4:9 says: Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

The beauty of God’s peace is that it’s not just an individual thing. This peace also forms a community of people who have received peace and who can share that peace with others: Peace for the lonely, the hurting, the despondent. There’s the Peace that passes understanding, not peace like the world gives, but the peace of God, knowing that there is more than what we see, that this is not all there is, that God is at work in all our lives!

I love this by Charles Spurgeon: ” “It is a strong consolation that can deal with outward trials when a man has poverty staring him in the face, and hears his little children crying for bread; when bankruptcy is likely to come upon him through unavoidable losses; when the poor man has just lost his wife, and his dear children have been put into the same grave; when one after another all earthly props and comforts have given way, it needs a strong consolation then; not in your pictured trials, but your real trials, not in your imaginary whimsied afflictions, but in the real afflictions, and the blustering storms of life. To rejoice then, and say, ‘Though these things be not with me as I would have them, yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure;’ this is strong consolation.” (Spurgeon, Sermons: vol. 36). Seek the Lord and Savior who is with us in the real things that happen in our lives.

Take time in life to discover this Peace and then let us be keepers and spreaders of peace this season and always. Pray and trust that His peace will be with you and that others might see and receive this during this Christmas season and know that there is Hope in the New Year. And this Hope is Jesus. Come alongside those who are hurting, those who need Hope. Spread peace. As Luke says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings

Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth

Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

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