This Child Gives Us Peace

Luke 2:8-14 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 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.’”

Since the civil war ended in 1865, no significant land battles been waged on American soil. Most of us would have to trace our family trees back far beyond the time of our grandparents to find a time when homes and property were threatened by invading armies. The pax americana, or “American peace,” some have called it. We can simply count it a great blessing from God.

And yet, everyone reading these words has known the hardship and agony of war from the time they were born. From the moment we first arrived, we have participated in a war waged since almost the beginning of time.

This is not the conflict and the violence we see each night on the evening news, though we have seen plenty of that. This is the war of which the Apostle Paul is speaking when he says, “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s will, nor can it do so.” This is the war the apostle references when he states, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men…”

This is the war which began in the Garden of Eden and has been waged in our own flesh. Each of us has a part in it, because we are by nature objects of wrath on account of our sin.

At Jesus’ birth God declares, “The war is over.” The peace of Christmas is not just a mood. It is more than a utopian goal for the dysfunctional family of mankind. The hush and the silence of Christmas night reflect a deeper and heavenly peace: A Savior has been born to you! He is Christ the Lord.

His life and death appeases his Father’s anger at sin. They win human hearts to faith, for, as the angels remind us, this Child gives us peace.

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