The angels proclaimed to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock by night, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” God’s glorious angels and Bethlehem’s meek shepherds both proclaimed the coming of Christ. It was proclaimed that Jesus’ advent was to the glory of God and to the peace of those with whom God is pleased.
Many will say we do not live in peace. War is ravaging nations. Political squabbles are ripping apart governments. Immorality is destroying lives and families. In the middle of all of this we celebrate the advent of Christ and the peace that was brought to those with whom God is pleased. I’m reminded of the last stanza of the old hymn that says:
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.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” The peace of Christ transcends circumstance. The peace of Christ removes fear. The peace of Christ is not like the peace that is found on this earth. The peace of Christ is everlasting.
As we celebrate the advent or coming of Christ this week, do you know the peace of Christ? Do you know what Paul means when he writes in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This peace that we have with God here on earth and that the angels announced to the shepherds is just a foretaste of the peace that Christ will bring when he comes again. Then he will remove his people from this sinful and corrupt world and we will know a peace that we never imagined possible. Let’s sing of the coming of our long expected Jesus again, but this time not looking back to the incarnation of Christ. Let’s look forward with great expectation to the peace that will be made complete at his second coming.