“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:12–14)
Notice to whom peace is promised. There is kind of a sobering note heard in the angel’s praise. Peace among men with whom He is pleased. It is recorded that “without faith it is impossible to please God”. So Christmas, and the results of Christmas, don’t bring peace to everyone.
“This is the judgment,” Jesus said, “that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil.” Or as the old Simeon said when he saw the child Jesus, “Behold this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign that is spoken against that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” How many there are who look out on a bleak and cold Christmas day and see no more than some gifts that won’t satisfy, and great food that will soon be forgotten.
“He came to His own and His own received Him not, but to as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, to as many as believed on His name.” It was only to His own disciples that Jesus said, “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.”
The people who enjoy the peace of God that surpasses all understanding are those who in everything by prayer and supplication let their requests be made known to God. These only are the people who have a relationship with Him.
The one thing that gives God’s peace is faith in the promises of God. Paul prays, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” When we do trust the promises of God and have joy and peace and love, then God is glorified.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men with whom He is pleased”. These are girls and boys and women and men who would believe in Jesus.
Something to think about on this beautiful Friday.
Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,