“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on
whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
It is Christmas and Luke and the other Gospels bring us the wonder of the night that the precious gift was given to us in Christ Jesus. The angel had just appeared to the shepherds watching their flocks by night and they were terrified as they were told the Good News of great joy that will be for all the people. Jesus came to bring peace, but also a sword He tells us in Matthew 10:34. What is that about? He knew that many or even most would not receive the gift and many who did would not open and embrace it with thanksgiving in their hearts. In fact from the beginning of creation man has been against man and war not peace has been the common element on earth. Why? For since Genesis pride, arrogance, selfishness, greed and fear have continued to reign at the behest of Satan who has masqueraded as the “angel of light.” Yes, even though those walking in darkness have seen a great light shining in the darkness as Isaiah the Prophet tells us, yet, the darkness has remained. But thanks be to God, His kingdom will not be overcome by Hades or Satan (Matt 15:34). However, unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit of God we will not be able to overcome the world as Jesus did. We are told to be in the world but not of the world; to be filled with the Spirit of trust, goodness and righteousness.
Once we are His we are to live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit. We need to be continually filled and controlled by the Spirit. We are to walk in the light and not darkness, being clothed with Christ and the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22). Then and only then can we do what Paul asks of us in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends upon you, be at peace with everyone.” This Christmas as the Christ child comes again let us remember that His peace is not as the world gives. He came to redeem the world from darkness, war and unforgiveness, to reconciliation and forgiveness of our sins.
As much as it depends upon you, if it is possible, be at peace, forgive and live in His love. This is the message of Christmas, love one another as He has loved you.
And these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. So receive His gift, open it and embrace it this Christmas so that you might live in the light as He is in the light and be at peace with one another.