IN THE PRESENCE OF PEACE

27 12 2018

Peace

Peace. It is a word often associated with Christmas. The message of the Angel to the Shepherds on that first Christmas Eve was, “Peace on Earth and Good News for All Mankind.” For years, we have been waiting for that promise to be fulfilled. If our search includes finding a time when people are not in conflict with other human beings, we will come up empty. Has there ever even been a few minutes on this Planet where there has been no hint of an argument between brothers and sisters?

Our Country is in the midst of severe division. Partisanship has become downright ugly. There is constant name calling and hateful accusations flowing non-stop in the good old USA today. Who is wrong and who is right? Who is tolerant and who is prejudiced to a fault? Being politically correct has reduced good men and women to doing ridiculous things in their attempts to provide that “peace on earth” we are all still looking for. In my humble opinion, when a nation loses its faith, it also begins to lose its mind. Without Heavenly guidance, we have the tendency to get lost here on Earth. We even begin to pick and choose who gets to experience the “Peace” and which “Groups” get to be in on the “Good News.”  If you go back to the original message, it said quite clearly that the ‘Peace” and the “Good News” was for everyone.

Every tongue, every tribe, every color and every background will be represented in Glory. We will not be divided in the Kingdom of God by Denominations. Once we cross over from death to life, we will no longer wear the labels of Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, American, Black, White, Red or Yellow and so on! There will be no political parties in the place where Jesus reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords! The Scripture tells us that one day, every knee will bow and every mouth will confess that only Jesus deserves to be the Master of the castle! If it is going to happen then; why should we wait now? Is there an advantage in having God’s will be done here on Earth as it is in Heaven? Yes!

Peace on Earth and Good News for all! Maybe we have confused our definition of what kind of “peace” was promised to the Shepherds on behalf of all of us. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is not a place where everyone is all getting along around the campfire singing Kumbaya and snacking on smores! Ever since Adam and Eve chose poorly to eat from the “Tree of the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” there has been enmity between God and man and male and female. Even when we are being more nice than naughty, there is still the sense of selfishness waiting in the wings. Peace is never going to be an outside/in effort. If we are waiting for that moment when everything is sunshine, lollipops and roses all around us to have peace; we are going to be left in want. Maybe the promise made by the Herald Angel can be followed through upon if we make a paradigm shift in our brain and heart!

Jesus was God’s gift to mankind for our salvation. Jesus is still for all people. Jesus is the only option. Not just locally, but for all of us. Believing in Jesus will be massively controversial. Nobody wants to be told that there is only one way. Yet if the building you are standing in is on fire and there is only one exit to safety, do you stand and argue about there not being more options. I’ll be out on the street thanking God that He even provided one escape hatch in the first place.

Christmas Peace is the same Peace we can have today because Peace is not tasted personally when there are no more wars to soldier in, but Peace is celebrated internally when any one of us accepts the fact that we make lousy Rulers and the only One worthy to run this show is a Person named Jesus! Because of Jesus on the inside in my heart, I can have true joy and hope and certainty no matter what is happening on the outside. All Hell can break lose circumstantially but Heaven is protecting me in spite of where I am planted; no matter what times and days that I may be living in. Because I have Jesus, I have Peace with God which gives me the Peace of God no matter what occurs in the faces and places around me. And because I have Jesus in my heart, I can be free to love others no matter what their backgrounds, labels, flavors or behavior. God didn’t come because of our behavior. He came because He knew we would always have chaos without Him.

In Luke 2:14, we read “Peace on Earth…” That night in Bethlehem, for the very first time since the Garden of Eden, there was true Peace on Earth. His Name was Jesus! The moment Jesus came down the birth canal, the moment Mary laid Him in a manger, there was Peace on Earth. Jesus is Peace. Peace is not the absence of war; Peace is the Presence of the One we choose to worship. Don’t expect the presents under the tree to do the job. Many of you will exchange those before they even hardly get unwrapped! Peace is knowing personally the Birthday Boy. True Peace is having a real relationship with Jesus. And unlike the first Christmas where many only held Jesus in their arms; we hold Jesus in our hearts and that is something to shout about! Wherever Jesus is, there is Peace on Earth for all men and women! Merry Christmas!!!


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