Full disclosure: I love Christmas songs. I especially love Christmas hymns. One of my favorites is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Longfellow. The first verse goes like this:
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Many Christmas songs talk about “peace,” and rightly so. The night Jesus was born a new song of peace was recorded — one which Longfellow was inspired by: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” (Luke 2:13-14).
Thousands, if not millions, of angels sang to God’s glory on this night because a little baby would bring peace to earth. But Jesus didn’t come just to bring peace to a hectic life or war-torn countries or tense relationships. If that is all the peace you think Jesus brings, you are missing out on something great.
Jesus came to bring the ultimate peace: peace with our Creator, because we were at war with him because of our sin. The Bible says that we were God’s enemies (Rom. 5:8-10). There is no peace between enemies. But God, our Creator, the one who we have infinitely offended, rebelled against, and declared war upon, came to earth in the form of a baby so that there might be a holy armistice. It was as if God said, “Lay down your arms, my enemies, poor rebels! I will forgive your rebellion and bring you to myself as a friend.” Jesus was born so that one day he might die on a cross so that we might believe in him by faith and have peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
Christmas is truly about peace. It’s about Jesus bringing peace to the war that existed between God and his enemies, namely us. Lay down your arms, Rebel, and flee to the arms of your peace-giving Savior.