Summary: This sermon can be used as a stand alone on John 14:27 or be used during the second Sunday in Advent.
The Gifts of Jesus—Peace
First Preached at the Broad Run Baptist Church 12/8/2002
Isaiah 9:1-7 (KJV)
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
A glance at the headlines this past Friday informs us of how much unrest is in the world today. In December 6th’s USA Today Online we were informed of the following:
Bush economic team out
WASHINGTON — Paul O’Neill, whose outspokenness won him praise as a captain of industry but often landed him in hot water as President Bush’s Treasury secretary, announced his resignation Friday. Senior White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey also resigned.
TV pioneer Roone Arledge dies
NEW YORK — Roone Arledge, a pioneering TV executive at ABC News and Sports who created shows from ’Monday Night Football’ to ’Nightline,’ died Thursday, an ABC News spokesman said. He was 71.
U.S. agents raid software company
QUINCY, Mass. — Customs agents raided a Boston-area software company early Friday as part of an investigation it may have ties to terrorists. The agents are investigating whether a businessman on the list of alleged terrorist financiers owns part of the firm.
Study: War could cost U.S. nearly $2 trillion
WASHINGTON — In the worst case, a war with Iraq could cost the United States almost as much as the government spent in the last budget year — nearly $2 trillion, according to new projections in a study released Thursday.
Plane crashes into Federal Reserve Bank
MIAMI — Federal Reserve Bank officials were celebrating the holidays when a small experimental plane slammed into the sprawling building, crashing in a heap of smoke and fire.
10 dead after Israeli army incursion
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli tanks rumbled into a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, sparking an intense firefight that killed 10 Palestinians early Friday, witnesses and hospital officials said.
Storm devastates South, snow blankets Northeast
The East Coast is looking forward to warmer temperatures as it tries to recover from storms that packed a punch like nothing seen for decades in the South, leaving more than a million people in North Carolina wondering when their their power might be restored.
Mortgage rates rise
WASHINGTON — Rates on 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose for a third week as a pickup in consumer spending depressed bond prices and boosted interest rates, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Thirty-year mortgage rates rose to an average 6.19%, 15-year mortgages inched up to an average 5.60%.
In one day, we were informed of a government shakeup, a famous death, theft of millions that we consumers must pay a looming war, a deadly accident, continued unrest and death in the Middle East, stormy weather, and a rise in mortgage interests’ rates. This is enough bad news for a year let alone a single day.
Unrest, upheaval, and uncertainty increase interest rates, inflation rates, and pulse rates. As these things rise, so does our blood pressure, anxiety, and fears. Notice I have not mentioned the topics of spiraling health care costs, violence, teenage pregnancy, divorce, substance abuse, illegal immigration, social security funding, and pollution.
Getting wrapped up in all of this robs us of one of the blessings and gifts that Christ wishes for us to experience not only surrounding the time of His birth, but all year long—His Peace.
“With all that is going on in the world, not to mention my own life, isn’t peace a bit out of reach for most of us?” you ask. For the vast majority of humanity, I would agree. But to those who are Christians, Christ imparts His peace to us. “Well, I am a Christian” you are thinking to yourself right now, “but I am certainly not experiencing the peace of Christ in my life right now!” Why is that?