Have you ever watched a Miss America Pageant? During the
show, the host asks each contestant what they would hope for. Almost every
time, contestants give the answer “world peace.” It happens so often that this
response has become a cliché.
But is world peace really such an unattainable idea? I’d
like to say, “With Christ, it’s not!”
On Christmas day 1914, at the height of the First World War,
British and German soldiers laid down their weapons and met in the middle of “no-man’s-land.”
They exchanged gifts, sang carols and even played an impromptu soccer match.
For a moment in time, this celebration of Christ’s incarnation brought enemies
But that shouldn’t be surprising.
Isaiah wrote about this effect more than 700 years before
the first Christmas in his most famous passage: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government
will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV).
Christ took on the form of a man to bring humanity peace.
The prophet continues, telling us: “Of
the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
Can you even imagine what “peace with no end” would look
I think we have a hard time doing just that – especially
when we look at the world around us. Everyday we’re bombarded with news stories
about civil wars, famine and disease. Add that to the stress we experience in
our personal interactions at work and in our homes, and you start to see the
world the way Jeremiah did so long ago: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace,
peace,’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14).
But I want to look at what Christ told his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and
do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
this season of Advent, as we move toward the celebration of Christ’s birth, I
want to personally wish you “the peace
of God, which transcends all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7).