Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?
Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Merry Christmas from Central! Hopefully you got to join us for one of our Christmas services this weekend!
For the past month, we’ve been a series about “The Arrival,” or Advent, of Jesus. We’ve talked about anticipation, hope, love, joy, and finally this week, we looked at how the incarnation of Jesus can bring us peace.
Beginning with the classic Christmas story in Luke, Cal read chapter 2, verses 1-14. Interestingly that passage ends with the angels declaring,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace…” Luke 2:14a
But did Jesus really bring peace to the earth? There’s little doubt the earth is not a peaceful place. All it takes is a brief scan of the news to see all of the conflict and fighting. Maybe there’s more to this verse that we need to focus on…
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.“
So we see this peace isn’t exactly meant for the entire earth, but to those on whom his favor rests. This begs two questions: first, who is “his”? That’s God! But what about “those”? Who are the “those” that get to receive this peace?
One could argue that Jesus is certainly one of “those.” Throughout His entire life, it is amazing to see Jesus in situations where anyone would respond less-than-peacefully, yet He had this crazy calm about Him. Like when His disciples were afraid their boat was going to capsize and Jesus was simply asleep (Mark 4:39)! Or when a demon possessed man ran toward Him yelling at the top of his lungs, and Jesus calmly asked what his name was (Luke 8:28-30). Or, at the end of His life when He was being crucified, Jesus forgave the people who were killing Him (Luke 23:33-34)! Now that is next-level peace. Jesus has peace regardless of the circumstances!
But could it be that the “those” the angels talk about could also refer to us? Because not only did Jesus embody peace, He also offers His peace to anyone who follows Him:
- For those with a broken heart, God gives a comforting peace.
- For those with a confused heart, God gives a guiding peace.
- For those with a shamed heart, God gives a forgiving peace.
- For those with a worried heart, God gives a confident peace.
What kind of peace do you need right now? Because the arrival or Jesus made peace a possibility – emphasis on possibility. And that is because it’s not automatic; this peace is only available to those who turn toward God and ask for forgiveness for their brokenness – sin. Jesus offers us this peace that we can have with God, that we are forgiven and loved, no matter what. He offers this to anyone who wants it, no questions asked. Have you experienced this peace yet? If not, would you like to know more about what Jesus has done for you? You can find out more on this page.
Verses and quotes from the message:
Luke 2:1-15; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:28-30; Luke 23:33-34; John 14:27; John 16:33; Colossians 3:15
Christmas Choir Medley – Emily Teterud
Hark the Herald Angels Sing – Lincoln Brewster
Joy to the World – Common Courier
O Holy Night – Garrison Jones
Silent Night – Chris Tomlin