Peace and goodwill – Part I

Everyone wants peace.   We want peace in our relationships – peace in our marriages, peace with our children and our parents, our sisters and brothers, peace with the people that matter most to us.   We want peace in our communities – safety in our streets and freedom from drug addiction, violence and poverty.   We want peace and unity in our beautiful nation and an end to the partisan bickering that has marred our national politics lately.   We want peace among the nations in our world.

Some may wonder, if God is good then why doesn’t He do something – why doesn’t He answer our prayers and bring us peace.   But the wonderful news is that God has done something.  When the angels announced the birth of Christ 2000 years ago, and sang those memorable words “peace on earth, goodwill toward men“, they were proclaiming that Jesus is God’s peace child, who would offer His life to make peace between God and humanity.   Because of Jesus, peace is possible.

I remember when I first met Al.  I was 43 years old at the time and had gone back to school to learn how to be a programmer.  Al was 10 years my senior and had been down a rough road in life, going through a divorce and battling addictions.  He had been in the software trade and had done very well, but had burnt out.  Now he was hoping for a fresh start.   We had coffee together and I began to listen to his story.  I still remember his poignant words : “I just want a little peace”.  Months later, in my living room, he surrendered control of his life to Jesus Christ and began to learn to walk with God.  After one particularly significant time of prayer I remember him telling me that for the first time since he could remember, he felt peaceful.  Al was discovering the peace that Jesus gives – like nothing else he had ever known.

All other forms of peace, as desireable as they are, can only endure if they are rooted in peace with God.  The Bible says that the core reason we have conflicts is because we all want our own way.  Jesus’ birth represents God’s offer of peace to a broken, battered, weary world.

My Christmas wish for you – and for me

This Christmas my most heartfelt wish for you is that you will rediscover,  or discover for the very first time, the peace that comes from welcoming God’s gift of the Messiah, Jesus, and surrendering control of your life to Him.  May your heart be full of the joy of knowing that you are loved by the One who made heaven and earth, and that your life has an eternal purpose.   Merry Christmas!