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Summary: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR IN THIS WORLD IS PEACE. THE ANGELS PROCLAIMED PEACE TO THE WORLD ON THE NIGHT CHRIST WAS BORN. A CHRISTMAS EVE MESSAGE.

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THE ANGELS PROCLAIMED “PEACE”

LUKE 2:1-20

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE ARE CONSTANTLY SEARCHING FOR IN THIS WORLD IS PEACE. WE WANT PEACE OF MIND, AND PEACE IN OUR HEARTS. WE SEEK A PEACEFUL GETAWAY FROM THE BUSINESS OF THE WORLD AROUND US. WE EVEN SAY OF THE DEAD, “MAY THEY REST IN PEACE.”

HUMANITY IS ALWAYS SEARCHING FOR THAT ILLUSIVE “PEACE”. IT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE THAT AT CHRISTMAS, WE COME EXTREMELY CLOSE TO FINDING THAT PEACE. I AM ALWAYS AMAZED HOW THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF CHRISTMAS EVE DAY, TRANSFORMS ITSELF INTO THE QUIET UNIQUENESS OF CHRISTMAS EVE. IT CAN ALMOST TAKE US BACK TO THE NIGHT THAT JESUS WAS BORN, AS FAR AS ATMOSPHERE IS CONCERNED.

CHRISTMAS USED TO BE A TIME OF PEACE AND HOPE, AND MY PRAYER IS THAT THIS CHRISTMAS CAN BE JUST THAT. IT WAS A TIME WHEN WARS WOULD CEASE FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. IT IS A SEASON WHEN WE THINK AND STRIVE TO HELP THOSE LESS FORTUNATE. THERE IS A QUIET ANTICIPATION AS CHILDREN, AND ADULTS, NOTICE SOME OF THE GIFTS UNDER THE TREE, AND IN THEIR MINDS SAY “NOW I WONDER WHAT THAT IS?”, FOR WE ARE MUCH TOO GROWN UP TO ACTUALLY SAY THE WORDS.

CHRISTMAS IS THE TIME THAT WE ACTUALLY MAY COME CLOSE TO EXPERIENCING PEACE IN OUR OWN PRIVATE WORLDS, ALTHOUGH IN ACTUALITY IT PROBABLY WASN’T THAT PEACEFUL FOR MARY AND JOSEPH.

MARY HAD A BABY THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS AND CHILDBIRTH IS ANYTHING BUT PEACEFUL. LUKE WRITES HIS NARRATIVE AFTER THE FACT, AND BEING A DOCTOR, MANY OF THE FACTS OF JESUS’ CHILDBIRTH WOULD SEEM ROUTINE TO HIM, AND SO HE WOULD GIVE JUST A GENERAL INFERENCE. AN EXAMPLE OF THIS WOULD BE:

LUKE 2:6-7:

6 WHILE THEY WERE THERE, THE TIME CAME FOR THE BABY TO BE BORN, 7 AND SHE GAVE BIRTH TO HER FIRSTBORN, A SON. SHE WRAPPED HIM IN CLOTHS AND PLACED HIM IN A MANGER, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR THEM IN THE INN.

IT MAKES IT SEEM LIKE IT ALL HAPPENED IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, WITH NO PAIN INVOLVED. WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS WAS MARY’S FIRSTBORN, AND LABOUR FOR THE FIRSTBORN IS OFTEN LONG. IT WOULD BE SCARY IN THAT SHE WOULD NOT KNOW HOW SHE WAS GOING TO FEEL WHILE HAVING THE BABY. WE MAY LIKE TO THINK THAT BECAUSE THIS WAS THE BIRTH OF THE CHRIST-CHILD, THAT THERE WOULD BE NO PAIN INVOLVED, BUT THERE IS NOTHING TO INDICATE THIS. IN FACT WE KNOW THE OPPOSITE TO BE TRUE. GOD SAID TO EVE AT THE TIME OF THE FALL:

GENESIS 3:16: “TO THE WOMAN HE SAID, "I WILL GREATLY INCREASE YOUR PAINS IN CHILDBEARING; WITH PAIN YOU WILL GIVE BIRTH TO CHILDREN. "”

MARY’S CONCEPTION WAS SUPERNATURAL, NOT THE BIRTH OF JESUS. THIS WOULD MEAN THAT THE PAIN OF LABOUR WOULD BE REAL, SO TOO WOULD BE THE RELIEF AND PEACE AFTER THE BABY CAME.

HALFWAY THROUGH HIS NARRATIVE LUKE TAKES US FROM THE STABLE AND INTO THE FIELDS WITH THE SHEPHERDS. HERE, LUKE SHARES THE MISSION OF THE CHRIST, AND ALSO VERIFIES SOME OF THE PREDICTIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT CONCERNING THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH.

IT IS IN THE MISSION THAT THE ANGELS PROCLAIM THAT PART OF THE MISSION OF THE MESSIAH IS TO BRING PEACE TO THOSE ON WHOM IS FAVOR RESTS.

LUKE 2:13-14:

13 SUDDENLY A GREAT COMPANY OF THE HEAVENLY HOST APPEARED WITH THE ANGEL, PRAISING GOD AND SAYING, 14 "GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE TO MEN ON WHOM HIS FAVOUR RESTS."

CHRIST IS THE ANSWER TO THE SEARCH FOR YOUR PEACE TODAY. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE WILL SEE “PEACE” IN THE WORLD TODAY, FOR MANY NATIONS HAVE ABANDONED THEIR WALK WITH GOD. IT DOES ALLOW US THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHO IT IS ON WHICH HIS FAVOR RESTS.

THE FIRST THING WE CAN NOTE FROM THIS VERSE IS THAT GOD’S PEACE IS NOT UNIVERSAL. BY THAT I MEAN NOT EVERYONE WILL HAVE IT. PEOPLE TONIGHT WILL SEARCH VARIOUS FORUMS IN AN EFFORT TO FIND PEACE, BUT MOST WILL WAKE UP TOMORROW, STILL SEEKING THIS ILLUSIVE GEM, BECAUSE WE TRY TO FIND IT IN OUR OWN STRENGTH.

THE PEACE THAT THE ANGELS DESCRIBE HERE, IS THE PEACE THAT COMES, AT THE END OF A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH. IT IS THE PEACE AND SATISFACTION THAT COMES AS A RESULT OF REACHING YOUR GOAL. THE GOAL FOR US IN THIS CASE IS THE SALVATION OF OUR SOULS.

THE PEACE THAT IS SPOKEN OF HERE, IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF KAOS AROUND US, NOR THE CHALLENGES OF LIFE AS THEY EFFECT US, IT IS THE PEACE THAT ALLOWS US TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES.

PHILIPPIANS 4:11-13:

“11 I AM NOT SAYING THIS BECAUSE I AM IN NEED, FOR I HAVE LEARNED TO BE CONTENT WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. 12 I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO BE IN NEED, AND I KNOW WHAT IT IS TO HAVE PLENTY. I HAVE LEARNED THE SECRET OF BEING CONTENT IN ANY AND EVERY SITUATION, WHETHER WELL FED OR HUNGRY, WHETHER LIVING IN PLENTY OR IN WANT. 13 I CAN DO EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH.”

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