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Summary: Mankind has never known peace. The thing is that ‘peace’ is not the absence of war, like darkness is the absence of light. Peace is not refraining from shooting your neighbor when his dog digs a hole in your new lawn.

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Where is Peace

Part 2 in a 4 part Christmas series

Scripture: Luke 2:12-2:14

12. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14. “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

I could be wrong, but I think that the most commonly misused and misapplied word in the language of man, is ‘love.’ If I am right, then surely the second most misused and misapplied word is, ‘peace.’

Mankind has never known peace. The thing is that ‘peace’ is not the absence of war, like darkness is the absence of light.

Peace is not refraining from shooting your neighbor when his dog digs a hole in your new lawn.

Peace is not avoiding a argument with your spouse over which way the bath tissue goes on the holder.

As pleasant as it is, peace is not found in the stillness of a mountain meadow.

Nations that have long been at odds with one another, even while peace talks go on. When can they have peace? How can they have peace? But still they don’t find peace.

No peace treaty that man has ever devised has been kept.

In man there is no peace; and here is why.

It is because man has never been at peace with God, and if there is not peace with God, then there can be no peace in the soul. Man was made to worship his Creator, and when mankind rejects his Creator and goes his own way, then he also rejects peace, and his path is one of turmoil from within that affects everything without.

Now our text says something that seems to completely contradict the facts that we see all around us; that keep us in a state of anxiety over our own personal lack of peace. It says:

12. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14. “Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Epictetus, a philosopher of the first century, wrote in reference to the Pax Romania - the Roman peace that existed in the civilized world at the time and about which the Caesar boasted - “While the emperor may give peace from war on land and sea, he is unable to give peace from passion, grief and envy. He cannot give peace of heart, for which man yearns more than even for outward peace”.

The philosopher struck right at the heart of the problem. So how do we reconcile this angel’s announcement of peace, with the evidence before us - strife and turmoil between governments, between people, and in men’s own personal lives and hearts from Eden until now?

I think the starting place, is to reconcile this announcement with the rest of scripture itself, and have an understanding of what is really being said here in Luke 2:14.

How can the angel pronounce peace among men with whom He (God) is pleased, when we know full well that God has had no cause or reason to be pleased with men from the very beginning?

Well, perhaps our first clue in our search, is found back in verse 12.

And this will be a sign for you;

you will find a baby wrapped in cloths

and lying in a manger.

Luke 2:12

Immediately following these words, the multitude of angels appear with the herald angel, and begin to sing God’s praises and His blessing.

Our first clue then, is that God’s glory and man’s peace rests in that manger.

The angels are saying that through the birth of Christ, true peace will come to the earth. His coming means peace with God, and peace given by God through Christ.

Someone said, “It is the work of Christ to bring peace into all human relations - in man’s relation to God, to himself (his own feelings, desires, etc), to his life’s circumstances (calamities and trials), and to his fellow-men.”

The angel is not wishing us peace in the way we might say to each other in a Christmas card, “may you have peace in this season”.

It is an announcement that true and lasting peace will come on earth to the hearts of those who are redeemed in Christ...who through faith become the sons of God.

For those who remain outside of Him, the earth and their own lives remain in a state of disorder and strife.

So, who are the men “with whom God is pleased”?

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