THE CANDLE OF PEACE
One of the hallmarks of the Christmas story is when the angels appeared to the shepherds and proclaimed, “Peace on earth,” in Luke 2:14.
Jesus brought about peace, in the most unexpected ways, when He arrived. The Jews, particularly the zealots, wanted a rebellion. They wanted their Savior to overturn the oppressive rule of the Romans and bring about peace in a violent way.
But Jesus had something else in mind. He brings us peace in a number of ways.
First, He gives us inner peace. Because of His work on the cross, we have a chance to receive salvation and be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. This grants us an inner peace (John 14:27). Not only do we have the peace that comes from our assurance of salvation, but we also have the peace of mind knowing God will heal this broken world and will come again.
Second, we have peace with others. We put aside our differences (Galatians 3:28), especially with other believers, because we belong to the same family. We have the same purpose: to let others know about the peace of Christ.
The Hebrew word for peace: Shalom, goes far beyond not fighting with others or peace as we know it. Shalom is, in essence, how things are meant to be: a slice of heaven.
The peace of God allows us to look at others through heaven’s eyes and help guide the world to see God’s here and not-yet here Kingdom.
Peace from God, Biblical peace, allows us to trust in God’s promises (Proverbs 3:5), through restful, tranquil faith, despite the dark, scary world around us.
What does the Bible say about Peace?
Not surprisingly, the Bible has a lot to say about peace, as it attributes peace to Jesus Himself: the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
In fact, the word peace appears somewhere between 200-400 times in the Bible.
Biblical peace also:
• Guards our hearts from the devil (Philippians 4:7)
• Brings us joy (Proverbs 12:20)
• Is a blessing from God (Psalm 29:11)
• Assists us during dire circumstances (Isaiah 54:10)
In a scary and violent world, the peace of God grants us a tranquility you cannot find anywhere else and offers a light to others who do not yet know that peace.
Why Does This Matter?
We live in an eye-for-an-eye, revenge culture. We also live in scary times, even if the Covid-19 virus is not around. But the peace of God transcends our circumstances and world. With this, we can be rest assured that Jesus will come and make everything right once more.
Our peace can also stir the curiosity of those who do not believe in Christ. They will see us exercise a spirit of tranquility, faith, and they will want to know the reason for our faith in shaky times.
When they ask, we can have a reason at the ready. “I am not afraid because I have the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding.”