peace on earthSuddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14

I heard the bells on Christmas day, Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet, their words repeat, Peace on earth, goodwill to men

I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along in unbroken song, Peace on earth, goodwill to men

The Christmas season always has a bit of a romantic, nostalgia to it. I love the atmosphere artists and musicians have portrayed of warm cozy fires, family celebrations and kisses under the mistletoe. Traditionally Christmas, followed by New Years, is a time of new beginnings and hope.

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, goodwill to men

Reality hits hard. We’ve lost a sense of innocence and security over the years. That truth has come harshly in the past couple weeks with the tragedy in Paris, San Bernadino and London. School shootings have become so common place that if we aren’t careful, we see them as the norm. Families are in trouble. The economy is in trouble. It seems like everyone either has cancer or knows someone being attacked by this disease. It’s no wonder it’s easy to get discouraged by what we see and hear daily on the news and in our circles.

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, goodwill to men.

A recent headline in an Los Angeles paper screamed, GOD CAN’T FIX THIS! It’s easy to understand the author’s frustration. The fact of the matter is, God didn’t break it. We did. The Psalmist expresses similar feelings in several places in the Psalms. My favorite is Psalm 13:1-2 where he pleads with a seemingly absent God. “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” And we echo the question? How Long?

While we may never be able to understand why God allows tragedies in our lives, I’m reminded of what the Apostle Peter said just after many of Jesus’ followers left him. Jesus asks, “Will you leave too?” Peter’s response is classic. He says “Where else do we go?” In other words, what other choice do we have.

Throughout history man has found new ways to destroy the peace Jesus came to give us. But too often we fail to realize that inner peace is available to us now through faith in Christ. Can God ‘fix this?’ Yes, some day every knee shall bow. Every single knee of every religion, every ethnic group, every denomination, every political party. Every knee will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.

PRAYER: Lord, there are so many times when I get discouraged by what I see around me. Fear and doubt set in assisted by anger. Help me to move on knowing you are with me and will strengthen me no matter how bad the battle becomes. In Jesus name, Amen.

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