Peace With God
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
Luke 2:14 (NIV)
Every year millions of Christmas cards are sent wishing a friend, relative or an acquaintance peace, and yet despite this well-meaning desire the world is still in conflict and chaos. Over the years there have been numerous attempts at peace, most of which have been short-lived.
On 25 December 1914, during the First World War while the German and allied armies faced each other in France, the sound of the carol ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ rang out over the battlefield. Soldiers on both sides laid down their arms, climbed out of the trenches to embrace one another and exchange gifts. Men who had been trying to kill each other for weeks even organised a ‘friendly’ football match. Unfortunately on 26 December, they went back to killing each other.
Peace on earth? Not likely! Christmas time is the time of year when there are lots of parties and festivities, yet it’s also the time when suicides, family quarrels and drunkenness reach a peak. Peace in our time? Not really. Did the angels get it wrong when they proclaimed “on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”? No, the birth of the Saviour did herald the coming of peace, but not the absence of war or conflict.
The human problem is that everyone has failed in some way or other. We “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Those sins made us ungodly (Romans 5:6) and God’s enemies (verse 10) with the end result of death (Romans 6:23).
But the good news is that Jesus was born to die, in order that we might be forgiven and make our peace with God: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1) This peace comes through God’s grace (verse 2) and as a result we are reconciled to Him (verse 11). Our hostility with God has been dealt with, opening the way for us to live at peace with God now and forever more.
The message the angels brought is one of great joy because in Bethlehem a Saviour was born who would bring us peace with God.
Have you experienced that peace? It can only be achieved by accepting the Saviour who came down to earth to die for you. If you haven’t done so already, Christmas is good time to explore the gospel message and discover this peace in Christ. Herod made some passing enquires about the baby born King of the Jews but misused that information and never came to Christ. The Wise Men on the other hand diligently searched for the Christ child and when they found him they worshipped him, for they realised who he was and what he had come to do.
Accepting Christ as our Saviour brings us peace with God – It’s the wise thing to do.
Father, thank you for the birth of Christ the Saviour, the dawn of saving grace, and peace with you. May we sleep in heavenly peace.
Study by Barry Robinson
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 020 8202 3998