Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

(No) Peace on Earth

peace_on_earth_by_alohasiempre-d4i35fg

During Christmas, “Peace” is prominently displayed, echoing the words of the angels who announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds and then concluded with, 
“…peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:14)

But turn a few pages and read Jesus startling words, “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!”  (Luke 12:51 NLT)

So did Jesus come to bring peace on earth, or didn’t he?  What seems to be a contradiction becomes clear when we look at a couple of things:

1) The context.  In the first, peace is announced “to those with whom God is pleased,” which would exclude those who reject him.  In the second, Jesus goes on to explain that even families will be divided because some will believe in him and others will not.  We’ve all seen plenty of examples of this at all levels of society!

2) The meaning of “peace.”  As with many words, this one has several senses.  The kind of peace Jesus did not come to bring was smooth personal relationships between people when some reject him.  What he, the Messiah, did come to bring was reconciliation with God and all the blessings (security, harmony, well-being) that would involve for those who submit to his rule and become part of his Kingdom.  Will you be part of his Kingdom and enjoy that wonderful peace?

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

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