Heavenly Peace

1 Dec

A little boy and girl were singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Choir KidsChristmas.

The boy concluded “Silent Night” with the words, “Sle-e-e-ep in hea-venly be-e-eans.”

“No,” his sister corrected, “not beans. Peas! *

Yes, “peace” is often misunderstood these days.

I (Dawn) love the old Christmas Carols.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a powerful carol that still has meaning for our day.

“I heard the bells on Christmas day,” Longfellow wrote, “their old familiar carols play.”

We are so familiar with Christmas carols, aren’t we? We’ve sung them since childhood, and perhaps it’s easy to recite them without thinking and lose their truth. Longfellow’s carol isn’t as familiar, perhaps, but the words strike a tone in my heart.

“And in despair I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said. ‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men.”

How about you? As you look around at the economic upheaval, broken relationships, crime, corruption, and wars everywhere—is your heart at peace? Or does despair and hopelessness color your days? Where is the answer for times like these?

Verse four of Longfellow’s song offers the reason for our hope: “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: ‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.”

The song speaks of God’s sovereignty ~ His authority and powerful rule.

Christians know that God reigns; He is in control (1 Chron. 29:11-13; Psalm 47:7-8; 115:3; Is. 46:9-11). Our peace in this world is fragile, but beyond these days of despair there is coming a day of true, lasting peace, because the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) will return (John 14:1-4; 1 Thess. 4:16-17) and His righteous rule will change everything.

Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigns! (Rev. 19:6b)

Jesus is our Peace! If you know Him, thank Him for the peace of His presence today.

 

* Joke Adapted ~ source: Michael P. Green, Illustrations for Biblical Preaching,

Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993, p. 57. (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/christmas.htm)

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