December 22, 2016 – Peace on Earth
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
– Luke 2:14
Peace on Earth
A multitude of angels appeared to the shepherds and declared this good news. Glory to God in the highest! On earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased!
Now, you may be thinking, this isn’t the version I know. Isn’t it supposed to be “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”? That is the way the King James Version of the Bible translates this verse – and so, it’s the way the verse has burrowed itself into the Western world’s consciousness. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most accurate translation. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, the angels are not declaring an age of universal peace and good will to men.
In fact, we know this is the case. Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus knew that he – and his message – was controversial. He knew that he would divide people. Though he calls us all to be peacemakers, he knew that some would resist. So what did the angels mean?
Peace Makes Us Whole
God’s peace is more than a lack of conflict. It’s completeness or wholeness. We are at peace when we are fulfilling our purpose. Our marriages are at peace when each partner is fulfilling the marriage covenant. Peace isn’t the lack of something; it’s the presence of something.
Peace occurs when we are what we’re supposed to be.
This is why true peace can’t come on just anyone. Think about Herod. He was alive when Jesus was born but he didn’t experience peace. His mind and heart were filled with conflict.
Those who are in rebellion can’t experience true peace. Only those who have responded to God’s grace – those with whom He is pleased – can experience the peace of God that passes all understanding.
For those who are following Christ in faith, peace is a reality. We might experience difficult times, but in Christ we are complete. Others may cut us off, but Christ makes us whole. The storm may be raging outside but inside, we can know what it is to experience calm, confident peace.
Peace isn’t dependent on what others do. It’s a wholeness that can only come by faith in Jesus Christ.
Are you walking in peace, today?