December 20 | text: Luke 2:8-14
This is the fourth and final Sunday in the Advent season. The theme is Peace and we light the Angels candle.
The angels called for peace on earth. It’s easy for anyone to see that hasn’t happened yet. The New York Times recently made a bold statement that “God is not fixing this” in reference to mass shootings and the oft repeated “our prayers and thoughts are with the families” of the affected. But the proclamation made by angels to the shepherds that night is not just empty words. Ephesians 2:14 says that Jesus “himself is our peace.” For the Christian believer, the birth of Jesus is not really the miracle of Christmas. Babies are born every day. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was the moment of his incarnation. God came near to humanity like never before as deity took on flesh and the incorruptible put on corruption.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:1-3
Colossians 1:19 says “For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell.” Jesus walked the earth as God in the flesh, incarnate deity. His birth was merely day one of his earthly ministry. What was the ultimate purpose of that ministry? Read verses 19 and 20 together: For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
He himself is our peace. God is not “fixing this” in that all the world’s troubles magically disappear when we pray. The world is not at peace, but the Christian believer can be at peace in the world. As a matter of fact Jesus told his followers “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
And yes; God will one day fix this. Oddly enough the people complaining about it now will not be happy about it when he does. Christ will return in glory and in power and not as a baby in a manger. All humanity will stand before him in judgement, death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire, and he will reign forever and ever and King of kings and Lord of lords. He is our peace and will one day fulfill the prophetic proclamation made by the angels above Bethlehem.