Have Yourself A Peaceful Little Christmas
As we draw near to Christmas, we're providing devotionals to help you anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth. So during these busy and unstable times, take a few minutes to focus on our Savior.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace on whom His favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14
So were the words of the angel when he appeared to the shepherds that night.
The announcement to the weary and waiting, bloodied and battered world was the news that its Creator was bringing heaven to earth.
God was coming down. Now, when a king comes to announce he is reigning in a new land, it’s usually anything but peaceful. The arrival of a new king to take over any land usually results in the shedding of much blood. But this King would not shed the blood of others (at least not at His first coming). This King would shed His own blood to bring peace between the Creator and the created; to bring those who were far away near; to rescue a world that was "in sin and error pining."
And thus the words “peace on earth” was the announcement that the Creator had come to save those who had betrayed Him. The announcement was that God had heard the groaning of the earth, He had seen its rebellion and wickedness, and now He was doing something about it. And His answer was a baby.
On the night the angels appeared, Heaven invaded earth. Imagine that. The One who spoke the world into existence was now a baby who would have to learn how to form words. Blood cells were forming, and they formed so they could be spilled out on the earth He had created. His blood was the path to “peace on earth.”
The Path to Peace In Your Heart
Peace. Everyone’s searching for it and everyone wants it, but 2020 has been anything but peaceful. We are restless, anxious, and fearful. The world is chaotic and hostile. We are bombarded by every media outlet with words of hate and contention towards one another.
In the words of Henry Longfellow,
“And in despair I bowed my head
there is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men”
If you’re like me, most of the time you settle for the peace the world gives and pursue it at any cost: better circumstances, more money, safety, comfort, health and happiness.
How about you? Do you need peace in a situation or in a relationship? Do you need peace in your heart? Notice in the verse above about the angel's announcement: peace doesn’t come from the earth, but rather peace comes from heaven and rests upon the earth.
I don’t want that "plastic" peace — the kind of peace the world gives — that rests on situations and other people (two things that are completely out of my control). If my peace comes from a situation, that situation can change at any moment and my peace will vanish. If my peace comes from other people, then other people can take it away. I don’t want a peace that comes from a feeling because my feelings can change. Neither do I want a peace that comes from electing a president or discovering a pill.
I want a peace the world can’t give and the world can’t take away. I want a peace that comes from submitting to the new and reigning King of the earth. But when I am focused on the chaos of the world, I am not living under the reign of His Kingship. When I am fearful of the future, I am not living under the rule of His Kingship. And when I’m not living under His Kingship, peace will always be elusive.
The peace I want comes for the Person of Jesus. The peace He gives comes when we believe that He is the answer to all we are looking for.
The kind of peace Jesus gives only comes when we respond and act in a move of faith that shows we believe He really is the Savior. Jesus gives peace to people who see who He is and come to Him in faith.
Where do you feel a lack of peace right now? In a relationship? In a situation? In the future?
You can have money in the bank but no peace in your heart.
You can be married but have no peace in your home.
You can be at the edge of a comfortable retirement but no peace in your future. On the other hand, you can find yourself in the most difficult of situations and have the peace of God. The peace announced at the first Christmas is a unique peace that only the Messiah can offer, but it's a peace that anyone can receive.
Look to the reigning, ruling, present King and receive His peace. Acknowledge that it’s Him you need. Tell Him you need Him, and He will come and bring His peace to your chaotic situation.And have yourself a peaceful little Christmas. Pastor Carey