Every year a word gets stolen from Jesus. Around Christmastime “peace” is highjacked from the narrative and mashed into the annual context, creating warm feeling inside for many Christmas patrons. You’ve probably noticed. Days after Thanksgiving friends and television shows and movies start using the word peace and sometimes more exactly “peace on earth” in equal fashion with terms like “cheer”, “merry”, and “the Christmas spirit”.
At first blush perhaps this doesn't seem like a big deal. Maybe we even celebrate that folks are using a word like this at all. After all, many bookstores and Starbucks are filled with, among other things, songs that quote the Christmas angels who were delivering good news to a group of shepherd, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”
Should this be viewed as a good thing?
But let's be careful. The angels announced, "peace on earth!" This declaration to the shepherds was meant to be received as a divinely kept promise. That is, the angels were announcing to the world that God had kept his word. God’s Son had arrived to bring about reconciliation between God and humanity. The tension, angst, discord, chaos, and separation human begins purchased through their sin would now be championed and defeated by the Messiah. Jesus was restoring peace between God and humanity.
This year, let’s be sure to remember the kind of peace we're talking about. Let's reclaim "peace". Now that doesn’t mean making signs, awkwardly correcting our neighbors misusage, or protesting establishments that play those songs. It simply means we ought to avoid allowing this concept to slip way into nebulous gospeless merriment. It means we ought to take every opportunity this Christmas to celebrate the reality that in Christ, God has brought us true and lasting peace.
Peace (wink!) …
- Moriah's Mission Christmas Drive - Learn more about our gift drive to the CRC and Saratoga Subacute Facility.
- Julotta - Come celebrate the birth of Christ with a traditional Swedish Julotta service on Christmas day at 6:30am. There will be singing, candle lighting, and a continental breakfast afterwards.
- Sermon Preview - "Power" (Matt. 1:19)