We have dreams of living in peace in our world. But in a year of riots on the Capitol, in the streets, divided politics, COVID surges and more news of sexual predators and historic crime; where is the peace? It sure does seem elusive.
The most famous of the “Songs of Christmas,” is that of the angels of Luke 2: 14 when they said “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors.”
Angels have made many visits to the earth in Scripture even “ascending and descending” on Jacob’s life-changing night. But this was different. He was a baby in Mary’s arms. This was not going to be a ‘quick-trip” to earth and back.
So the angels burst forth proclaiming their highest praise to God of the highest heaven. They had just left the throne and now heaven has come to earth. What should those on earth expect? The same as what they had left in Heaven – peace.
Think about it. There is no conflict in Heaven. There are no worries in Heaven. Father God is in complete and absolute control of ALL things resulting in total peace. It did not matter than Herod was king on earth. It did not matter the Romans were ruling over Jerusalem. It did not matter…God was in ultimate control and where God is in control, there is peace.
The angels rejoice for now that can be on earth.
One of my favorite Christmas songs was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Dark days were in his life as his wife in 1861died in a fire in their house. The same year the Civil War broke out tearing the nation apart and two years later his 17-year-old son, Charlies, ran away from home to join the Union Army. He was shot badly wounding his shoulder. On Christmas Day of that year, Henry gave way to his feelings venting his angry of all that had happened. As he dropped his head in despair he heard the bells ring. He wrote:
“And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said
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.”
There is “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) That peace exists today and is available. No wonder we can sing at Christmas.
–David O. Cofield, Pastor, Rainsville First Baptist Church