“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” –Luke 2:14
Activity: Write a family peace treaty. Everyone suggests one thing that they can do to help the whole family get along for the evening.
When we think of peace and Christmas we tend to think of hot cocoa and fireplaces. We think of looking out the window at a soft blanket of snow over the ground and twinkling stars outside. Christmas peace seems to us to be like a painting of a warm family in front of a Christmas tree.
But peace doesn’t mean quiet, it means to get along. Peace is the opposite of war. Sure, sometimes the two are connected. Like the difference between when you are riding in the back seat of the car during a road trip and fighting with your sibling versus a car trip when you might be reading a book. The second one is quieter, but it is not the lack of sound that makes it peace, it is the good state of the relationship.
We, by nature find ourselves fighting with God. His Word says to give to those in need, but we fight against that and want to hold on to what we call ours. His Word says to turn the other cheek when someone strikes us, we strongly disagree and would rather hit back. God’s word tells us how to live our lives, and instead of going along peacefully with what God says, we find ourselves struggling against God and wanting to do things our way.
If we are in combat with God by how we live, how can the angels proclaim peace? Because Jesus is bringing the peace. Jesus is a peace treaty sent by God, promising rest. When wars end, there is usually a peace treaty. A promise to stop fighting and work towards a repaired relationship. These treaties often note who is to blame for the start of the battle. In our relationship with God, we always start the fight. He wants what is good and perfect for us, but we selfishly want only what we want. By our sin, we war against God.
Peace treaties also contain the conditions, that is, what needs to happen to make peace work. In earthly battles, the group that starts the fight usually is asked to give money, or land, or other goods to the wronged party. But that is not what God’s peace asks for. The conditions for God’s peace ask for Jesus, not us, to do all the work, all the payment, all the repairing to make our peace last. Peace with God is offered through and made possible only through Jesus. As we look forward to Christmas, may we celebrate the bringer of peace, the Prince of Peace, Jesus, who was born in a manger, and would die on a cross to bring us peace.
PRAYER: Dear God, Thank you for Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who repairs our relationship with You. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.