Peace

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. So many great memories of Christmases past. And now, with Olivia and Jack it’s special all over again. Even if you’re cynical by nature, it’s easy to get caught up in the sentimentality of Christmas. I’m always cautious, however, when it comes to the messages of Christmas. Lest that sentimentality somehow creep into the truth of the Christmas story.

I’ll give you an example. There’s a beautiful song called “My Grown-Up Christmas List”. Though originally composed by David Foster, and sung by Natalie Cole in 1990, it didn’t become a hit until Amy Grant recorded a version for her second holiday album. The song is about a visit with Santa Claus by an adult who does not ask Santa for anything material for Christmas, but rather nothing but good things for all humanity.

Here’s the heart of the message of the song.

No more lives torn apart,
Then wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end.
This is my grown-up Christmas list.

My frustration with the song is that though it longs for peace – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that – it never acknowledges the only one who can actually produce peace. How can you sing a song that cries out for peace and leave out the Prince of Peace?

In today’s world – torn apart by acts of terrorism around the world – many believe peace is impossible. No such thing. But the Bible tells us that’s not true. In fact, Christmas is a celebration of peace actually entering the world in the person of Jesus Christ.

But there’s a catch. It’s not a blanket peace for everyone. God’s peace is only for those who but their faith and trust in the Prince of Peace. Do a quick word study in the Bible on peace and this fact will jump off the page with every verse. Here are a few examples…

Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace (for who?) [for] those with whom he is pleased!”
Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Psalm 29:11, “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.“

God’s peace is possible, but living in God’s peace can only be realized by faith in the promises of God. That’s why Paul prayed, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.”

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16