Peace. How would YOU define peace? When asked a few friends, I got a variety of answers with a common theme. An awareness of hope, rest. The lack of strife, or internal conflict. Peace, “knowing that things will turn out ok.” All true.
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, among men whom God’s favor rests.” (emphasis mine)
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, ‘eirene’ (i-ray-nay) means as O. T. shalom does, prosperity, quietness and wholeness. And it isn’t just the absence of war or conflict, it literally means to bind or join together that which has been broken, divided, meaning in essence to ‘set right again’ – it really is a beautiful word picture: something that was once upright has been toppled over, causing chaos and a conflict. Peace is picking it up and setting it right again as it was designed. That which was once divided is no longer, but joined together. Now, put this in context to the angels birth announcement of Jesus… “Peace on earth among men whom Gods favor rests.” Jesus coming to earth, His life, death and resurrecton has ‘righted’ things between God and man – joining us together again. Everything in place and as it ought to be. Come BOLDLY before the throne of God…. (amen)
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, (set at one again) 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and PEACE to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Eph. 2:13-18, emphasis mine) Peace.
In my study, I kept coming across the thread of reconcilation. Reconciled, is an accounting term, as one who sits down and writes out the columns of what is owed and what has been paid. At the bottom of the page, the owing and paying are in complete balance. NOTHING owed. THAT is peace. THAT is Jesus.
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. Yes, Peace had indeed came to earth, as a baby lying in a manger, as a reigning King sitting at the right hand of God!
I share this from my heart, for you see 34 years ago, a 16 year old girl radically gave her heart to Jesus on December 21, 1979. I no longer neccessarily see Jesus in the manger, but high and lifted up!
Blessed Christmas from my heart to yours,
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)