Advent: Share Peace

Peace on earth. The angels proclaimed that to the shepherds as they gave the most important announcement the world has ever heard.

The Christmas story has so many layers. It’s a story of hope. A story of love. A story of joy. And a story of peace.

As you hear songs about peace and you see decor highlighting peace this season, do you feel at peace?

I love the Casting Crowns version of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Take 5 and listen to the song paying attention to the lyrics. I especially relate to this verse:

“And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men”

Peace can easily be the most confusing focus of Advent. Did Jesus really bring peace to the earth and good will to men? There’s a lot of violence in the Christmas story not too long after Jesus is born. Wars and rumors of wars continued in Jesus’ day and haven’t slowed down a bit in the last 2000 years, and then we lived through 2020. Where is this peace?

It’s between us and God. Jesus came to establish peace where we needed it the most.

We all tend to diminish the seriousness of our sin. We know Jesus came to save us, but we don’t always fully grasp our desperation that required saving.

We were God’s enemies. Romans 5:10 makes that point crystal clear.

Our sin is a rebellion against God. We declared war by living as if we don’t need God, don’t want God, and don’t care about God.

Every single one of us chooses a side in this fight, and every single one of us chooses the wrong side. And our choice was eternal. It was one of those choices with no do-overs. We rebelled, and we can’t do anything to make it right. We were at war with God, and we had no way to make peace on our own.

So God sent His son. It was a rescue mission. It was to give us hope, to show us love, and to fill us with joy. And it was to bring us peace.

Instead of punishing and destroying us as His enemies, God punished His son in our place so that He could establish peace with us and bring us into His family as His beloved children. Because Jesus was born in Bethlehem, we no longer have to be God’s enemies.

That is a peace worth celebrating. That is a peace worth singing about. That is a peace worth proclaiming to the world.

Let your eternal security in Jesus guide you with peace this season and beyond. Let this peace guard and rule your heart and mind every single day (Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:7).

And take this peace to a world that desperately needs it. Proclaim God’s peace to your neighbors and to the nations.

Lance Shumake