Christmas Eve. Stores are closing as last-minute shoppers scurry for the door, weary salespeople breathe a sigh of relief and get off their feet, and the “Magic of Christmas” officially begins. For one day, the universal motto of a large percentage of the earth’s population becomes “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men”.
Unfortunately, the shooting is suspended, not stopped. On December 26th, the world will get back to its usual not-so-peaceful routine.
Peace is an elusive thing. Everyone wants peace, yet few seem to actually possess it in any substantive form. For many, the attraction of the Christmas season is the momentary fulfillment of that dream, the wonderful moment of “Peace on Earth.” For one night, it seems possible. Then some jerk cuts you off on the freeway on your way back from grandma’s house on Christmas day, and that “peace” slips away.
I’m reminded of the names given to the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah, when he foretold the birth of Jesus:
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 NNAS)
One of Jesus’ names is “Prince of Peace.” Jesus came into the world, and with Him came the capacity for true, lasting peace. If that’s true, why does that “Peace on Earth” that settles on us sometime on Christmas Eve dissipate so quickly? If Jesus is truly the “Prince of Peace”, then His “Peace” ought to last longer than that, right?
The problem is that most of the world doesn’t experience the “Prince of Peace”. Instead, they are experience an emotional state of rest. Like most emotions, it’s temporary. When the tree comes down, the “peace” is gone, and the disillusioned world returns to its normal peacelessness.
You and I will never experience true Peace in life apart from an intimate, ongoing relationship with the “Prince of Peace,” Jesus Christ. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many hours are spent in negotiation, no matter how many “Peace Treaties” we sign, they are all just like the momentary emotional “Peace on Earth” that so many experience at Christmas — temporary. But, when the Prince of Peace is allowed to control your life, you can and will experience true Peace. It’s the kind of Peace that lasts forever, that carries you through the ups and downs of life, that sustains you through the hardest of hard times, not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
The goal of World Peace is not an unattainable goal, but it can only be met one person at a time, as that person experiences Peace with God, through Jesus Christ. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, Christmas is a wonderful time to begin — all you have to do is:
- Admit that you’re less than perfect—a sinner.
- “Repent”—make a deliberate decision to turn away from your sin.
- Ask Jesus to forgive your sin, and take up residence in your life as “the boss”.
- Accept that forgiveness, and live in it.
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From all of us at CaseStudies, Merry Christmas. Celebrate Jesus, the true Prince of Peace!