CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Universal peace was hindered
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. (Isaiah 9:6 R.S.V.)
I TRUST THAT YOU AND I would not take this word “Peace” lightly. The word is power-packed and is full of purposefulness.
On November 8, 2014, I officiated at a service of “Praise and Thanksgiving” for the life of a dear brother. After the service I overheard a woman say, “God never intended for man to die!” I stood amazed, amazed because I did not expect to hear such words from a lay person, but the woman was correct. Yes, God never planned that His world would be one of sorrow.
Universally there is bloodshed, pain and violence in various forms. Some of our women have lost their lives at the hands of men during the year, and four weeks ago, three men lost their lives violently in one week. We continue to hear of family members, relatives and friends, who grieve over loved ones who have died tragically.
God, who created us all, is a God of love, gentleness, kindness, and above all, a God of peace. He intended for us to live in the world in harmony. Sin is the cause of all of the crime and violence. Sin has ushered in lust, greed, discontentment, covetousness, hatred, etc. Certainly, this is not what God planned for His world.
Whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, you will die, as a result of sin. Sin has cemeteries full of bodies and prisons full of prisoners. Jesus Christ is the cure for the sin problem. John the Baptist, thousands of years ago, looking down through the telescope of time, saw his cousin coming and declared: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
So peace is possible because of Jesus Christ.
Let us remember the words recorded by the Prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 9:6. The fourth and final name ‘Prince of Peace’ stresses the rich harmonious life that we His subjects will enjoy.
The final verse in the hymn stresses the just and righteous rule of the coming King. The most significant word in the entire verse is the word ‘Peace’ (Shalom) derived from the verbs meaning “to be whole” or “to be complete”; it describes a state of well-being, of wholeness of prosperity. Peace means the rich, harmonious, joyful life of those privileged to live in Messiah’s kingdom.
The way that things are happening in the world, many of us might say, that peace seems to be an elusive dream. However, every Christian experiences peace, because of Jesus Christ.
Let us not despair, however, when Jesus returns to set up His kingdom, there will be “universal peace”. Our work is not ended; let us keep on praying for the salvation of our world’s leaders, and the world at large. Have a peaceful Christmas and a blessed and healthy New Year.