I find it amazing that just about everything that we do at this season of the year runs just the opposite of what we are supposed to be celebrating. We are busy celebrating the coming of the Promised Messiah that would bring, among many things, “Peace on Earth!”
The Old Testament prophets identified the difference that Messiah would make in human history. The prophet Isaiah gave him the title “Prince of Peace.” We might think of him as being the agent that would bring the peace that humanity desired. He would become the agent of true peace. It is interesting to think about how much we desire peace in our lives. It is desired in our relationships with others. There are many, that when asked what they desire for Christmas, respond with something like, “I just want to get along.” This reflects a deeper desire for peace. I often feel that way when catching up on the news events of the day, thinking, “I just wish we could all get along!” This desire for peace is even a desire for the struggle in our own lives.
The sad reality is that we attempt to find this peace in all of the wrong places. I guess that is part of the brokenness of human nature. When struggling with a broken relationship instead of seeking forgiveness we shift the blame or attempt to sweep the issue under the proverbial rug. We attempt to sedate the pain of our heart with poor life choices instead of dealing with the issues. Our lives are filled with remedies that we hope will bring us peace and also joy. Yet none of these substitutes work because true peace in our lives can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah.
The significance of Christmas is the revealing and fulfilling of God’s long awaited plan. God’s brilliant plan was to remove the obstacle between His creation and Himself, our sin. Since we could not become perfect to meet God’s standard, He implemented a strategy that would pay the penalty of our offense through the substitute of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ is the unfolding of God’s love by Jesus taking on flesh and becoming a man. The account of Jesus is not complete without what happened on that Passover about 30 years later, that we now celebrate as Easter. But Christmas is a reminder that God fulfills His promises. And one of those promises is to restore humanity to what He originally intended it to be when He place Adam and Eve in the garden. One component is that there would be “Peace on Earth.”
So as you celebrate Christmas this season, let me encourage you to make a point of attempting to share God’s love with those that cross your path. When you do, you will give others a glimpse of what is coming when Jesus will reign on earth and finalize what He started in his followers. Merry Christmas!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson