TITLE: A Poor Peace
DATE: December 28, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Luke 2: 13-14 -- ESV - And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]
The angels sang about it over Bethlehem's fields, but peace hasn't come about.
ven the smallest of our children know that there isn't peace on earth. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Some time ago the Dallas Morning News shook its readers awake with 24 pages - 24 pages talking about the 19 wars which were going on right then
Most involve rulers killing their own people in disputes over land and religion, ethnic and tribal differences, political power and drugs. In those 19 wars, 3 million people had been killed, 90% of them civilians. Drug wars in Latin America feed the appetite for drugs in the United States.
The Dallas paper did not include the lesser number of people killing people in the name of religion around the world., Nor did it include the gang and drug wars which piled up 22,000 dead Americans.
The angels sang about it over Bethlehem's fields, but peace hasn't come about. Even the smallest of our children here know that there isn't peace on earth.
True, it's almost been 75- years since the world's major powers last bombed and shelled each other, but on any day soldiers are firing in 30 to 40 nations. Wars of liberation. Territorial disputes. Religious principles "One man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist," the saying goes, but the common denominator is death.
The angels sang about it over Bethlehem's fields, but peace hasn't come about. Even the smallest of our children here know that there isn't peace on earth. If it were not so sad, it would be almost laughable.
It hasn’t been so long since Bethlehem cancelled Christmas. The Jewish government thought that was terrible, so the Israeli army had its own celebrations. In short the Jews celebrated Christmas, the Christians didn't.
I don’t argue when a Russian scholar says that in the last 3358 years of history there has been 227 years of peace. For every year of peace there has been 13 years of war. Over the last 3,000 years of history, more than 8000 peace treaties have been signed. Almost all have been broken.
Which is why this holiday season we need to remember we are blessed beyond imagining. We live in a country where we are reasonably, not perfectly, but reasonably secure. Still there is not peace in many homes; or neighborhoods. And it certainly hasn't arrived in many hearts who don't know Jesus.
But you know Jesus.
You know that God loved sinful humankind so very much that He was willing to send His perfect, beloved Son to take our place. You know that this Babe of Bethlehem fulfilled the law for us, lived for us, died for us, rose for us. You know, I pray, the peace of God which surpasses human understanding. Although some businessmen may say that this year could be the greatest Christmas ever, you know that the first one was
You know that peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God in a believing heart.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, from almost the beginning of time humankind, has yearned for peace. Sadly, our sinful natures always do something to make peace an impossible dream. Thankfully we have A Savior Who not only destroyed sin, death and devil... He also brings true, lasting peace. For all this we praise His Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html