Christmas. Just the word alone brings a soft glow to the soul. Images of lights, men in red suits, baby in the manger, faint humming of jingle bells and wrapped gifts under the tree. Now let’s throw in a cozy fire, sugar coated cookies and Bing Crosby and don’t forget “Buffalo Gal, Won’t you come out tonight” in Jimmy Stewarts “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A peaceful experience.
Peace. How would YOU define peace? When asked a few friends, I got a variety of answers with a common thread. An awareness of hope and rest. The lack of strife, or internal conflict. Peace.
Christmas peace, Luke 2:14, when the angel appears to the shepherds, he pulls in the back up singers for this declaration, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Not only was God gettin some glory, but peace had come to earth. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Sound familiar? “A baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
This New Testament word, peace, is ‘eirene’ (i-ray-nay) means as O. T. shalom does, prosperity, quietness and wholeness. But it literally means ‘to set at one again.’ The word picture is this: picture if you will something of great importance has been toppled over, with it down, effecting life as we know it. When it is erected again, (set at one again) then all is well when it is in it’s place. Remember Adam and Eve sinned in the garden? (Thanks guys!) THAT was some major toppling over! Man was sent out of the garden, and well … things were all messed up. Jesus came, setting things back in the right place. God and man back in relationship.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, (set at one again) He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-18, emphasis mine) Peace. Paul declares this point, “Since we have been justified through faith we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 5:1
This Christmas as we sing and sway with the Hoo’s in Hooville, drink another glass of eggnog, rip open the thin paper off our packages, may we pause and consider whole heartedly, we, mankind have the opportunity to be at peace, restored back to God. NOT religion, but relationship. Set at one again. Yes, Peace had indeed come to earth, as a baby lying in a manger.
A peaceful experience. Queue Christmas hymn, “O Come Let us Adore Him…”
In Him, (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)