“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” — Colossians 1:19-20
Wreath Directions: Light two purple candles.
Read Aloud: Colossians 1:15-20; Ephesians 2:11-20; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Suggested Carol: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Any study of the peace of Jesus Christ, in my opinion, must begin with the peace He earned through His death on the cross.
This is the basic Gospel message: that Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden and suffered physical and spiritual death as a result. Sin became part of the human condition from that point down through the generations. Every human being begins life in rebellion against his or her Creator. We are aliens; foreigners; strangers to God.
I’m reminded of the movie Forrest Gump, when Lieutenant Dan is saved from certain death by Forrest in the jungles of Vietnam. Dan had a fatalist wish — he wanted to die on the battlefield just like his ancestors — but Forrest messed up his plans. Dan turned his anger towards God and, in an iconic scene, is seen pointing his finger in anger against the Almighty during a hurricane, egging Him on to, essentially, destroy the angry soul. After the storm, Dan not only realized that God existed but that He wasn’t out to ruin his life. So, as Forrest narrates, “I guess Lieutenant Dan made peace with God or something.”
This is Hollywood, of course, so there’s no mention of a mediator to earn the peace and save the soul. In reality, apart from Jesus Christ we have no peace with God. The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1 that even though God created us, we have been in rebellion against Him ever since Adam and Eve first sinned. And because of our sin and our broken nature, we were in need of someone to save us — a person who did not need saving himself.
So God chose to become man in the form of Jesus, and through His innocent death on the cross He bridged the gap between God and man. It is now through faith in Jesus that we can have our peace with God. For Jesus has “reconciled” us to God and now we can have a restored relationship with our Creator. Just accept what Jesus Christ has done and believe in Him.
And the truth is that we can have no real peace with man if we do not have peace with God. Oh, sure, we can get along with our neighbor in civility but do we have a lasting peace? Do we have a deeper peace? Can we share a meal in harmony and joy?
Take a moment to thank God for bringing you out of the circle of enemies and aliens and making you a son or daughter through faith in Jesus Christ.
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. We who were once alienated from You by our sin have now been reconciled to You through the blood of Your Son. And now He is our peace both pertaining to salvation and to life. We thank you for this peace in His holy name. Amen.”