Christmas is finally here! In just two days, we get to celebrate the arrival of Jesus on earth at our beautiful Christmas Eve Worship Gathering. We'll meet at 3:00 pm at the Waverly Civic Center. The kids will be with us. There'll be hot cider and hot cocoa. We'll sing. We'll remember. We'll worship. It will be a wonderful celebration of the coming of Jesus.
And then on Christmas Day, we encourage you to sleep in, read the Christmas story together, maybe sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and have cake with your kids, open presents, and worship Jesus through rest, reflection, and time with others. But take note: There will be no Worship Gathering on Sunday, Dec 25, Christmas Day!
So with Christmas just a couple sunsets away, we finish our series through the four Messianic titles in Isaiah 9:6. Here is verse 6 one more time as a reminder:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
It seems that every beauty pageant contestant has longed for world peace. And yet, we never seem to have it. Just this past week, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, a terrorist drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Germany, and fighting continues in Aleppo, Syria.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, even said during his adult years that wars and rumors of war would continue. Humanity is broken because of sin, and we see this in the news week in and week out.
I truly believe Jesus came to bring peace. But he didn't come to bring peace to the nations first. (That will come after his second coming.) His first coming (aka Christmas) was about bringing peace between God and man.
Ephesians 2:14-18 says:
For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made [Jews and Gentiles] one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
That is what Christmas is about. The peace the angel proclaimed to the Shepherds was first a peace between sinful man and a Holy Righteous God, which then enables peace to exist between people.
And when we find the peace of Jesus through the gospel, it changes us and our communities, bringing the peace that beauty pageant contestants (and the rest of us) long for.
May you find peace in Jesus this Christmas.
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