In a couple weeks we’re going to go Christmas caroling in our neighborhood and sing a lot of my favorite songs. “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” and several phrases similar to this phrase are found in a lot of carols. We sing about peace a lot at Christmas, but not much else throughout the year. Do we just equate a “silent night” with the idea of peace? Is peace only available and possible around Christmas? If you haven’t had a chance to read last week’s post take a look at it and see what this Advent thing is all about.
What is real peace?
I think our idea of peace is often simply not fighting. In a world and at a time where the world’s wars are escelating that idea of peace is pretty attractive. It can be pretty attractive in our own homes where spouses throw snide remarks at each other and kids throw toys at each other. But is that all that peace encompasses?
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace ther will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
I believe Jesus fulfilled this not only as being the child born for us, but in how he lived out and ushered in peace. His peace was one of restoration. Jesus restored creation back to order by healing people physically and spiritually. He restored our identity by bringing us back to Himself instead of trying to find it in what we do or in another person. Jesus brought restoration to the relationship that we have with God the Father through His death on the cross. And he brought restoration to life by defeating death through his resurrection. Peace for Jesus had more to do with our relationships between each other, creation, our governments, and ourselves than it had to do with trying to stop wars.
So how do we access this peace? Another Christmas carol says, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” That sounds great, but are we the source of peace? Can we really be the ones to bring peace to the earth?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Jesus is the one who gives us peace. He brings real, lasting, and perfect peace. We are receipients of His peace and see the evidence of it in our lives. When Jesus gives us His peace things change in our lives. Our identity and relationships change as examined above. When Jesus gives us this it’s not just empty words. He gives us His Spirit, himself, in order to make this peace a reality. We dont’ need to be anxious or worry. Jesus’ knows what we need and when we need help in life. He provides for us as a loving Father gives to his children. And the best part is that this peace is available all year round. This isn’t just a Christmas thing. It’s an every day thing. His presence, love and care for us is constant.
Take some time to rest this Christmas season. Not necessarily a physical kick your feet up kind of rest (though that’s good too). Rest in Jesus. Know that He’s working to make things new in you and your relationships. Jesus has real peace for you today and every day.