Summary: If we could choose what we wanted for Christmas... would it be peace on earth?
Peace On Earth - Christmas 2002
Opening Statement…. What do you want for Christmas?
If you could have one thing….if you could have anything you desire for Christmas this year, what would it be?
Think about that statement for a few moments and we will come back to it in just a minute.
In three days it will be Christmas.. This is the last Sunday before Christmas and I needed to determine what scripture to read for you this morning…
As I thought about what passage of Scripture to use, I thought to myself… “well, I could pick some obscure passage of scripture to use and then I could tie it into a Christmas message…
I could do that because I don’t want anyone coming in this morning and saying “Well, that is the exact same scripture the preacher used last year”, and then they tune out for the rest of the message….
That happens from time to time and I didn’t want that to happen today.
But as I pondered this, and as I read over scripture, and as I studied, I determined that there is really only one passage of scripture that should be read this Morning…
It is the same scripture that I read to my Children on Christmas Eve….. it is the same scripture that you hear people reading and talking about this time of year….
It is the passage of scripture that brings us the meaning and the reason that we have this very special celebration every year.
So please take your Bibles this morning and turn to Luke chapter 2. We will start in verse 1.
Now, this is not something I often do, but if you are physically able, would you please stand with us this morning as we read this most wonderful passage of scripture…
Read Luke 2:1-20
You may be seated.
Ah yes… the focal passage of scripture at Christmas time… a gift has been given to us from God…
The Christ…. The Messiah… the anointed one…. Immanuel…. God with us… had been born… and the world would never be the same… praise God!
So… Have you thought about it yet?
Have you thought about what you want for Christmas?
If you could pick anything in the world to have for Christmas this 1 time…. If you could decide what you want and you would absolutely be guaranteed of getting it…. If you could be certain of having whatever your heart could imagine…..What would it be?
ILL….. We have all heard that same basic question asked before from time to time…
We have heard people asked that if they could have any wish in the world granted… what would it be…
What comes to my mind is the Miss America Pageant… you know what I’m talking about… where the finalists are asked a question near the end of the program….
And it seems like so many of them get around to mentioning something about world peace… or something like it…
Is that what we would like to have for Christmas??
In truth, if we had one thing that we could be assured of receiving for Christmas this year…. Would it be peace on earth?
But wait a minuet??
Peace on earth… that sounds familiar.
Actually, that was mentioned in the passage of scripture we have read this morning…
Look again with me at verse 14.
Read verse 14.
Now, there are a few different translations for this passage of scripture. Most people know this famous verse as it is stated in the King James Version, and the New King James Version states it the same way …. They say,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
In all three of the translations we have mentioned this morning, there is the phrase “and on earth… peace”
On earth peace… this was a declaration by God’s messengers.. a declaration by angels… “peace on earth”
They were heralding it, they were announcing it as if peace had truly been brought to the earth.
Have we ever thought of this?!!!
I mean, we see this saying on Church signs at this time of year…. You can look around and see the word peace on the side of houses here in Melbourne… We can see it written in Christmas lights… we hear it advertised on radio and flashed across the screen on TV…
But if the angels were truly declaring peace on earth…… then may I ask this morning friends…… where is it at?
Where is the peace?
As I contemplated this I started going over some history. Now, I was never very good at history.. but I did come across one historian who stated that there has actually been about 286 years of peace since the start of recorded history.