Finding Peace On Earth
I have a confession to make, I haven’t been my jolly ole merry self lately. Shocking, I know. Usually, the day after Thanksgiving I would begin my annual tradition of watching my list of Christmas movies, begin the baking process and start putting up decorations in and outside of the house. Well the most I managed this year is to watch two or three movies, get my door and railing decorated, and just a few days ago I finished wrapping all the gifts and putting them under the tree. Needless to say, I’ve been a little late on spreading Christmas cheer. I know this has been a weird year, not to mention season, for everyone. However, today I began thinking about what it means to find peace on earth during a season that is anything but. I’m reminded of the song, “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.” One of the lines in the song goes like this,
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, good will to men.”I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867
Have you ever felt like that? I know especially with everything going on this year it has definitely felt like on of despair and hatred. However, it has also been one of growth and purging. What do I mean? Well, I think about three months ago I had kind of an epiphany. I started realizing the less time I spent on social media, watching the news, and being consumed with the latest reports on the global pandemic and the current politics sandal, that I was beginning to find peace on earth – or at least in my heart. Not only that, but I’ve been growing in my relationship with Jesus and spending more time getting to know Him through His love letters to me called the Bible. I am not keeping my nose in the Bible 24/7 – even though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing -, but I am replaying certain scriptures over and over in my head throughout the day. I can’t explain it, but I am feeling different without anything looking different around me. Have you been there? Suddenly my hope is returning and I’m reminded of countless scriptures where Jesus is telling us that our hope draws near, and that as we look to Jesus He will renew our strength. Let’s look at the next set of lines in the song.
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.”I Heard The Bells.. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It doesn’t describe the earth suddenly changing and everything was made right automatically. If you read between the lines I think you will see Henry saw something we didn’t. He saw that God isn’t dead and one day there will be peace on earth, good will to men. However, it starts inside each of us. He said the wrong shall fail, and right prevail. For those who don’t understand Shakespearian, shall is an old word for will – or it will be -, and that is what he is saying in this text. When you have an idea of what you are getting for Christmas and it is something you’ve always wanted, or at least something you have wanted for a while, do you get excited? I know I do. I am giddy and overjoyed because I know I don’t have it right now, but boy when it gets here I am going to be ecstatic!! This gives me hope to carry on through the season until Christmas cause I know something most people don’t know. Let me put it another way. If you are married or have a child in the military and they’ve been gone or longer than a few months overseas due to being deployed and you receive something in October saying they are going to be home for Christmas; how would you react? Despite anything that happens between October and December 25th you would have so much joy right? Most people around you wouldn’t have the same hope and peace you do because they don’t get it. They don’t understand that the person you love is coming home and all will be right in your little corner of the world. That is what I’m talking about.
PEACE WITHIN WILL CAUSE PEACE WITH-OUT
What do I mean by this? Well when you have peace within yourself, you will automatically bring peace around you, regardless if you realize it or not. I don’t know about you, but when I’m around someone who is in a state of chaos and anxiety it makes me nervous and on edge. However, when I am around those who are super laid back and “chill” as I like to say, suddenly I find myself at peace and relaxed. As believers we need to be those people who are relaxed regardless of our situation. Now I am not talking about being passive when we need to take action on a situation, yet we can choose peace when everything and everyone around us is in a state of panic. By doing this we not only set the standard, but people will want to know where we are getting that peace and how they can receive it for themselves. In other words, we are obey the command of Jesus and being salt and light to the world around us.
This Christmas season why not bring peace on earth and good will toward men (and women) through the peace Jesus so freely gives each of us? In a world that is bent on chaos and hatred let’s bring the peace of Jesus and share the true hope of this time of year – Jesus’ birth and ultimately His saving grace that He brought about through the cross which was the redemption of our sins – basically meaning that because Jesus lived a perfect life He was able to die on a cross and bear all of our mess ups so we can choose Him and be with Him for eternity. We can live this life with meaning and purpose because Jesus died and rose again to give us that freedom. How will you share this message with the world this season? Share your thoughts below.
May the peace of God wrap around you like a warm blanket on a cold day, and may you experience His goodness this Christmas season!