"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:11-14)
Along the journey with his disciples Jesus spoke these words:
- Luke 12:51 "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."
- John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
- John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
After the Resurrection Jesus spoke these words:
- John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
- John 20:21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
- John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Do you get the feeling the Lord is trying to send us a message? It seems that the message is simply this: Only in me you will find peace.
We have a hard time with that, don't we? We tend to search for peace, but often in the wrong places. It seems that God's message to us is that peace is not found in things — our post-Christmas blues testifies to that. It does not matter what things you found wrapped in bright colored paper lying under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Peace is only found in the one who was found lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.
God seems to be saying that peace is found in having a relationship with Jesus that is real, a relationship that is spiritual and yet real to the world in which we live, a relationship in which we realize that only with a relationship with Jesus can we ever be right God.
God seems to be saying that staying busy will not bring us peace. We know that. Yet, we seem to be obsessed with staying as busy as possible. "Slowing down is not an option," has become the standard excuse. Wearing ourselves out will not bring us peace. There will always be more to do. Even religious busy-ness won't bring us peace. Memorizing another verse will not bring us peace, attending another service or meeting will not bring us peace, and doing more good works will not bring us peace — not if we lose sight of Jesus. Peace will come with Him, in Him, and by Him.
God seems to be saying that the absence of trouble is not a sign of peace. Jesus said, "You will have trouble in this life." We say, "Amen!" to that. But He also says, "I have overcome the world." We will find peace in Him. When we do not understand His plans or how He works, our peace will be in Him. When we are not able to see into the future, or understand the past, our peace will be found in Him. When life seems unfair, He will still be our peace. When we cannot find our way through this life, He will be our peace. When we cannot grasp our purpose in this world, He will be our peace.
Jesus is our peace.
He is our peace in this season ... the coming season ... and in all the seasons ahead.
Peace be with you!