As expected, December’s pace has kept me away from blogging! I’ve not gotten to all that I wanted to write about peace, but I thought it would be perfect to use a verse from Luke 2 today to continue that conversation.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” ~Luke 2:13, 14
While this is a wonderful season of celebration, there’s often some hard things about Christmas. I personally know many who are experiencing physical suffering right now. Others have recently lost loved ones, and are still grieving. Figuring out how to make money stretch to meet all the financial demands we feel can also make this a difficult time of year. Yet peace is a big part of the Christmas story.
Let’s look at three ways that peace and Christmas go hand-in-hand.
Because of Christmas, we can have peace with God.
There is no way we could have a relationship with God without Jesus. We are born sinners. God is holy. Our sin is a barrier between us and a righteous God. Yet Jesus came as a babe in a manger. He lived a perfect, sinless life. Then He died a sacrificial death on the cross, taking all of our sin upon Himself. Three days later, He rose from the dead, gaining victory over death for all who trust in Him.
When I accept Jesus as my Savior, His righteousness becomes mine. All of my sin is forgiven, and I have full access to the God of heaven. There is now peace between myself and God. No better gift could be given than the one that was given that very first Christmas when God sent His Son!
Because of Christmas, we can have the peace of God.
Since Jesus came, we know about God’s love and mercy, His compassion and His grace. He wants us to experience His peace. I don’t know how those without Christ handle life’s struggles, but I’m so thankful that, through salvation, we can sense God’s peace no matter what our circumstances are.
As we talked about earlier this month, God can give us peace in our souls as we face trials in our lives. God makes inner peace available to us as we learn to trust Him. These thoughts have helped me over the last few weeks as I’ve prayed about a situation where I need peace.
Because of Christmas, man can have peace with others.
We’ll likely find ourselves coming into contact with some people over the holidays who aren’t exactly lovable! I can’t love others – especially those who “get on my nerves” – on my own. But remember, peace is a fruit of the Spirit. While that applies to inner peace, I also believe that inner peace flows outward, and affects how we treat others.
In Romans 14:19, we’re told,
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
We choose how we respond to the cashier with a short temper, the fellow shopper who cuts in front of us, or the extended family member who dominates the conversation. By our words and our actions, let’s choose to respond in a peace-making way.
This Christmas, may we be grateful for peace with God, rest in the peace of God, and show peace to those around us!