Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

Luke 2:8-15
December 10, 2023


“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

from Luke 2:14


Where can we find peace in a world filled not only with wars, pandemics, division, and injustice, but also with great difficulties in our personal daily lives?

As children, we sometimes threw what we thought were well-deserved tantrums when we didn't get our way. We were sometimes very afraid of imagined problems, like monsters hiding in the closet. As we grew older we began to discover that we could live without that toy we wanted and that there were no monsters in the closet. Instead, we face health issues, relationship problems, loss of loved ones, financial struggles, people let us down, and many more problems.

Some of the storms in our lives are all in our imagination, some are very real, and some we make worse ourselves. Just this week, I found a storm raging inside me as I dealt with two different customer service issues for the church. My frustration grew as customer service people agreed with what needed to be done but were unable to do it or were obviously not reading the problem ticket I filed. By the time I gave up on these two issues Friday evening, I was exhausted.

The problem with preaching is that hopefully, the preacher practices what they preach in their own life. As I was driving home God brought it to my attention that I was creating my own storm and that I needed to practice what I was going to preach - the stress that I was experiencing was largely my own making. Like the serenity prayer, I could pray and seek serenity in the midst of these things I could not change. But, to do so, I needed to seek that peace rather than clinging to my resentment of the time it was taking to deal with these problems.

I needed to be willing to be changed, myself, independent of the resolution of these issues. Peace was at hand if I was willing to let go of the things I could not change.

Advent is a time to celebrate what God has already done in Jesus, as well as experiencing the tension between the wrongs that exist and God's promised ultimate peace. It can lead us to cry out, with all of God's people, "Come! Lord Jesus come!"

Let us seek the peace that the angels proclaimed to the shepherds, not only in our lives but also for the sake of the world.