The Christmas season is here, and along with all the hustle of shopping, baking, mailing out those family photos, attending parties for work and church, not to mention the kid’s Christmas play, we will often see this verse from Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” It’s a verse most people can quote with ease, but has it’s impact on us faded?
When we think of peace on earth, thoughts of no war, prosperity, love, and a lack of worry come to mind. But, is that what peace is? Let’s look for a moment at this verse, who said it, and why. The multitude of the heavenly host said this as they suddenly appeared with the Angel of the Lord who had just told the shepherds where to find Jesus. They were praising God saying this. Not because all troubles and strife would now be over, but because the Son of God had came to break sin’s curse, and bring peace to us here on earth, through Jesus Christ.
Peace is not something we find when everything finally goes our way (though it certainly does help), but “peace on earth” is the ability to make it through the times when things don’t go our way! Through the presence of Christ, we have the ability to overcome hardships and difficult circumstances all because of what He did. He came as a perfect, spotless lamb, and laid down His life so you and I could experience freedom from sin and the joy that comes with it. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Peace is not something that just occurs when “all is right with the world,” or when we get away to that quiet cabin in the woods, but it’s something a Christian should experience in spite of everything going wrong! Jesus is the answer to all of life’s struggles. Peace can’t be something that exists only in the absence of trouble because Jesus told his disciples in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In Him, we have peace… in this world we will always have trouble and suffering, but because He overcame the world, we can too.
I pray you have a wonderful Christmas, and I want to encourage you to not hurry through, wishing it was over already, and saying things like “I’ll be glad when things get back to normal.” Find peace… find Jesus! Enjoy each day, regardless of a long line at the store, sitting in traffic a little longer, or finding an extra pound or two… Merry Christmas to you, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is the pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg. This the sermon she delivered this past Sunday.