“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” — Luke 2:1 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” — Romans 12:18
Wreath Directions: Light two purple candles.
Read Aloud: Luke2:8-14; Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14
Suggested Carol: Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
The subject of peace comes up frequently around Christmastime. And often the message of the angels in Luke 2 is taken as a call for men and women to all be at peace with one another. But the angel did not call for world peace, nor peace between neighbors. The angels said peace will be among men with whom God is pleased.
We know from yesterday’s study that God is not pleased with all men, in fact, all of mankind is in open rebellion against God. Only those who have placed faith in Jesus have found His peace.
With whom is God pleased? Those who have placed their faith in His Son. Colossians 1 says that God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Jesus, who died so that He might reconcile Himself to mankind. Now He considers those who have faith in Jesus His children (Gal. 4:4-7).
This is the wonderful gospel truth, but it is also important to note that one aspect of Christ’s coming deals with the peace we can now have with each other. Over and over again in the New Testament, believers are commanded to be at peace with all of mankind (Rom. 12:18, Heb 12:14). This does not mean that we must bow to the world’s wishes, but instead seek to be at peace with people.
Personally, I think this peacefulness is more of a mindset than an action, though it is certainly active! It is that mindset we have which tells us to smile at a rude driver or seek to be disadvantaged for the sake of peace. It is a resolution to be a witness for Christ in every situation, regardless of the personal cost.
We are also called to be at peace with those in the church, even if we disagree with their theology or find them to be arrogant, rude or rebellious. We must be peaceful, even if it goes against our behavior type or background. Paul says in Romans 14:19, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” Listen to these words: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body (Col. 3:15).”
It is because of Christ that we live in peace with one another. So in this season of peace, let us give thanks for the Prince of Peace, who calls us to be at peace with each other.
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.”