Yes, it is that time of year again, the Christmas season. And the Christmas season is a season of peace, right? After all, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)!
Although this was prophesied years before Jesus was born, a similar message was preached by Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, just months before Jesus would begin His earthly ministry: “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79 NLT)
It’s great news, isn’t it?
Why then, is it then, that we are so stressed out? Why are our souls so void of peace? Especially around the time of year when we are supposed to be celebrating the birth of the Christ Child? Could it be that we have replaced the Christ Child with santas and reindeer and elves and snowmen? Could it be that are have become so ensnared with our trials and negative circumstances that we can’t even see the Christ Child and His gifts anymore? Could it be that we simply do not know the Christ Child? That our relationship with Him has grown cold? Could it be that we’ve never experienced the Salvation and the peace that the Christ Child brings?
Welcome to JESUS PEACE! Experiencing the Peace Joy of the Christ Child–All Year Long!
Throughout the month of December, we will be exploring these questions and looking for Bible-based answers and solutions. Our goal is that your feet will be guided “to the path of peace,” and not just for the upcoming Christmas season, either; but for the New Year, and for the rest of your lives!
But before we go on, perhaps it would be good to define this “path of peace” that John the Baptist announced at the River Jordan (See Luke 1:79)…
The Gospel of Luke records: “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord–has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! … Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others–the armies of heaven–praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'” (Luke 2:8-11, 13 NLT)
And the “Peace on Earth” they were announcing was this:
“…Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12 NLT)
Jesus, the Messiah, the Lord, born as a baby, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger is our “Peace on Earth”. He is our “Path to Peace”. He is the “Prince of peace”! In other words, this “peace” is rooted in none other than Jesus, the Christ Child, whose birth we celebrate this month.
But this isn’t a new idea, is it? Going all the way back to the books of Moses, we find that one of God’s gifts to us is that of peace: “The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.“ (Numbers 6:26 ESV); and “I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid…” (Lev. 26:6 NKJV)
The book of Psalms has many references to God’s gifts of peace as well: “But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Ps. 37:11 NKJV); “He has redeemed my soul in peacefrom the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.”(Ps. 55:18 NKJV); and “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” (Ps. 119:165 NKJV)
The theme is then taken up by David’s son, Solomon, “For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” (Prov. 3:2 NKJV); as well as the prophets: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Is. 26:3 NKJV); “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peaceof your children…” (Is. 54:13 NKJV); and “…I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” (Jer. 33:6b NKJV).
In other words, we are promised peace throughout Old Testament history!
But it didn’t stop here. Jesus spoke of peace during His ministry on Earth: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 NKJV) ; and “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world…” (John 16:33 NKJV).
And the theme was taken up by future New Testament writers: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NKJV); and “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.“ (Rom. 8:6 NKJV)
There are many, many other Biblical references to peace in the Bible, but I believe you get the picture. Jesus’ Peace is ours, thanks to the loving sacrifice of the Christ Child!
So if peace is ours, how can we bring peace back into Christmas? And most importantly, how can we live the peace-filled lives the Bible speaks of–all year long?
A good place to start is to begin to understand the concept of peace. Join us on Saturday for “What is Peace, Anyway? JESUS PEACE! Experiencing the Peace of the Christ Child — All Year Long! Part 1”.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Jesus Peace: Experiencing the Peace of the Christ Child…ALL Year Long!” mini-series, please click here.)