Two thousand years ago an angel appeared and proclaimed peace on earth and goodwill to men. Another interpretation is peace on earth to men of goodwill. The birth of Christ was proclaimed in Jerusalem; all of this city inquired concerning the birth of this child of promise. king Herod asked the wise men to come back to him and report the child's whereabouts.
Consider the angel's proclamation in this context. Shortly thereafter, when the wise men were warned of God in a dream to not return to king Herod to report the child's birthplace, Herod had all male children murdered in an effort to kill the promised King of Israel.
Not a very peaceful prospect? What of the angel's words - peace on earth, goodwill to men? Quite a statement considering the events of the wicked king Herod! The Christ and both of His parents also had to flee to Egypt until king Herod had eventually died.
Is this not unlike our walk with Christ many times? Events contrary to the promises seem to happen. There are seasons when all seems to spin out of control in complete opposition to our prayers. This happens so that evil can be exposed. The exercise strengthens our faith and exposes all unbelief deeply hidden in our hearts. God gives His enemies ample time for repentance. All through this process our faith grows deeper. Just as a tree that has never been through a storm has shallow roots those that have been repeatedly buffeted through the years are the ones that were used for hundreds of years for ships built to cross over the oceans to settle the New World.
Our storms prepare us for the passage to our New World! We are citizens of another nation; an heavenly one. Regarding the words of this angel 2000 years ago, there is peace available for those who are in Jesus. It is our duty to appropriate this peace. We have to pursue it, desire it, seek after it.
The Word tells us to buy of Him gold purified in the fires. It is ours for the taking. This peace is not the stupor or the numb peace of the world but an inner knowing that God truly has everything under control. He is our Father. One day soon He will also accomplish His desire of the ages; the tabernacle of God will once and for all be with mankind in the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven to rest on planet earth for the ages of eternity.
I cannot imagine such a thought! It is amazing enough to think of seeing Christ in our new glorified body like His, but to live in a city where the Father resides! What a Christmas thought for 2009. We are even now a new creation because of the God child taking to form of mankind; bearing our sin and iniquity on His holy body so that we could partake of His glory!
Jesus endured the pain of the cross for the joy that was set before Him. We must continue to do the same! It will be worth it all when we finally see Jesus!
Merry Christmas, may His peace reside in our hearts and minds right now, and for the entire new year of 2010! Look up, our redemption draws near!