Summary: In the midst of national uncertainty brought on by terrorist attacks, and personal turmoil resulting from high unemployment and natural disasters, can the hope of Christmas still deliver peace?
Title: The Peace of Christmas
Text: (Micah 5:1-5)
Call to Worship: Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to allpeople. For there is born to you this day in the city of David aSavior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10 –11).
Can there really be peace on earth?
Since the beginning of recorded history the world has been entirely at peace only 8% of the time.
In other words, in over 3,100 years of recorded history, only 286 have been without war.
During that same period of time, 8,000 treatises have been broken as well.
And what about personal peace?
Peace at home?
Peace at work?
In the midst of national uncertainty brought on by terrorist attacks, and personal turmoil resulting from high unemployment and natural disasters, can the hope of Christmas still deliver peace?
The prophet Micah lived between 725–610 B.C, during the reins of Israel’s kings; Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah.
He came from the poorer class of Israel and was acutely aware of the injustices of the rich.
Micah explained that because of the sins of Israel, God had sent the cruel armies of the Assyrians as His arm of punishment.
However, the people were not to lose hope.
Following God’s discipline, would come a time of tremendous blessings; blessings connected with the coming of the Messiah.
At some time in the future, he predicted, a woman will give birth to a child in Bethlehem.
This child, proclaimed the prophet, “will be their peace” (v.5).
Some 700 years later, in a stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem, a virgin by the name of Mary gave birth to this promised Messiah who brought peace.
But the peace He brought was peace with God, not peace between men or nations.
He would break down the barrier between God and man and reconcile mankind to God by His death on a Cross.
Micah’s prophesy of peace on earth is for a time that today is still in the future when all the equipment of war will be consumed.
It can only refer to the Second Coming of Christ and His reign over the earth for a thousand years.
It will be a time of peace, since the Lord will have put down all rebellion, all opposition and all the forces of evil that are around today.
Isaiah likewise called Jesus the “Prince of Peace” (Is.9:6).
“Prince of Peace” refers to a rich, harmonious life given by Jesus.
But there can be no peace on earth until He is reigning.
His government is not stagnant; there is increase and growth.
No two days are going to be alike when He is reigning.
He is going to occupy the throne of David.
This is a literal throne that He will occupy at His Second Coming.
Justice will be dominant in His rule.
God’s zeal, not man’s screwball plans will accomplish this.
Micah, in the fifth chapter of his book tells how God is going to bring peace to the world.
I’ll read the first five verses.
1 Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; He has laid siege against us; They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (This verse is a prophesy that the Messiah will be born in Jerusalem.)
3 Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel.
4 And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth;
5 And this One shall be peace.
Here’s the good news; you don’t have to wait until Jesus returns to experience peace in your life, because you can have—
Peace through Forgiveness.
What type of peace does Jesus bring?
Jerome, an early church father, had a dream one night in which Jesus visited him.
In the dream, Jerome collected all his money and offered it to Jesus as a gift.
Jesus said, “I don’t want your money.”
So Jerome rounded up all his possessions and tried to give them to Jesus.
Jesus responded, “I don’t want your possessions.”
Jerome then turned to Christ and asked, “What can I give you? What do you want?”
Jesus simply replied, “Give me your sins. That’s what I came for; I came to take away your sins.”