What is it that the shepherds first glimpsed? What did the angel reveal in the desert night that would soon be shared with the rest of the world? PEACE. The angel announced the coming of the Messiah. It is also an announcement of joy and peace. Peace that is proclaimed to God’s people here on earth.
Luke 2:8-15 (CSB)
8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!
15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
What is this peace we are so in search of? We are blessed with many things in our culture. We probably don’t really understand how we do not need to give much thought to acquiring the basic necessities that much of the world must seek out on a daily basis. While we have been blessed with much material provision, we seek daily other kinds of relief. The things of the heart and mind are much more illusive to us. One of the things we are in constant search for is peace.
We have many places of conflict. Certainly we have worldly conflict we wish would cease. War proliferates around the world. The fallout is massive and devastating. People lose their lives, their water and food supplies are annihilated, they are misused, and they are uprooted from their homes. The weight of this worldwide is very crushing.
Politics. Ugh. Our current political climate is defined by conflict. The conflict seems only to escalate. Certain parts of our economy actually thrive in all this conflict.
Where does that leave us? Doesn’t the Bible constantly speak of peace? Why then does it seem to have left us? Will the war and strife never end? Why is it still present even in the Christian world?
The Bible promises peace. But, is the end of conflict, war and strife the peace it promises to those who believe? Christ came to bring peace. That was over 2000 years ago. We have never seen a moments peace since then. The church has sometimes been the perpetrator in carrying out this conflict.
So what then does the Bible put forth? You see….. Jesus came to bring peace. He came to end the ultimate war. What war? The war we have with God. Jesus came to reconcile us to God. Jesus came to walk among us. He came to help us to see the Father. He came to go to the cross. He came to pay the price and to end the conflict our sin produces. He was raised from the dead to give us new life.
Romans 5:1 (CSB)
5 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (CSB)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
We have the one thing that money can not buy. We have peace with God. This peace is the result of His love. It is a costly love. Not a love that cost us, but a love which came to us at great sacrifice to Him. The result is, that we do not have to worry about impending punishment for the things we have done. Through Christ we have escaped. We have been made new. We can live in close communion with God. We can have peace.
If you are not experiencing this peace, seek Him out. He will be found. Cast all your cares on Him and seek His presence. Peace will find you as you look to Him rather than circumstances. Learn to walk with Him and to trust Him.
Romans 15:13 (CSB)
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.