“Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace among people of his favor.” (Luke 2:14)
Peace on this earth seems like an impossibility. Every day we hear about strife in the world out there. Missionaries kidnapped, tornadoes destroying, one teenager shoots another. These are not the sights and sounds of a world at peace. And every day we feel strife in the inner world, the world of our emotions, thoughts, and impulses. We know that one thing is the right thing to do, but we want to do the bad thing. “This year I won’t eat so many Christmas goodies.” “This time I won’t lose my temper with my spouse or my kids.” “This time I will turn off the computer.” “This time I won’t order more than I need off of Amazon.” These are not the thoughts of a person at peace.
Can peace on earth be found? No, not by us. This world is so broken that peace has to come from outside of us. But that is the Good News of Christmas.
Peace did come from outside of us. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was born into this world of strife, war, and conflict. And He went to battle in order to win peace for us. Jesus prevailed over Satan when the devil tried to tempt Him to sin. Jesus battled our sin when He carried it to the cross. Jesus took on death when He was placed in the grave.
And Jesus won. Our sins have been paid for, so that peace with God the Father has been made. Satan has lost His power, so that we can have peace instead of fear, and strength in times of temptation. And Christ has been raised from the dead, so we can face our own deaths with peace of mind, body, and spirit.
Peace on earth? We won’t find it in or from ourselves, but Jesus does give it to us through His Word, the Gospel, the Good News of the forgiveness of sins and the life everlasting.
Hear it this season and all the year round. Hear it with joy! Merry Christmas!