“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14)

The Christmas season often seems to bring anything but peace. We rush to stores, to parties, to pageants, to worship services. During the time of year when we raise our glasses and toast to, “Peace on earth and good will to men!” we often find ourselves asking, “Can there really be peace for me?”

Could it be that our busyness during the Christmas season is a search for peace? Could it be that we believe, somewhere deep within us, that in our pursuit of material things, friendship, good food, sentimental feelings, generosity, morality, or something else we will eventually fill a void? Could it be that we know we are not alright and that we need something—anything—to make us right?

On that first Christmas night, in the fields of Judea, not too far from the town of Bethlehem, shepherds were watching their flocks when out of nowhere, a heavenly host began to sing. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Here is the announcement of the ages: peace is available! Now, peace is not the absence of any stress or conflict or physical tumult. Peace is being restored to loving relationship with your Creator. How does this happen? It’s not something we can purchase or achieve. It’s something we receive through what this baby Messiah in Bethlehem will do many years later. Baby Jesus did not stay in the manger in Bethlehem. He grew up to be a man who went to a cross in Jerusalem to die for sinners to reconcile them to God. There, on that cross, he himself becomes our peace. So there will be peace for anyone who trusts him and loves him. Even for you.

Scripture and Reflection Questions
Read Luke 2:8-20

  1. Where do you look for peace?
  2. Imagine you were one of the shepherds. How do you think you would have felt hearing this message?
  3. It says that the shepherds “went with haste” (v. 16) after they heard this message. How might you run to Jesus with haste each day as you remind yourself of the good news?
  4. Read v. 19. Why did Mary treasure up these things? Do you treasure the things you read and know about the Messiah?
  5. Do you have peace with God? How might you turn to him today and trust him for peace?

From We Look for Light: Readings and Reflections for Advent

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