It’s easy to get caught up in the uncertainties of what has been going on around us this past year here in the US - COVID 19, business closures, civil unrest, rumors of election irregularities and the list goes on. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow must have had similar feelings when he penned a poem during the unrest of the Civil War that was later set to music - “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. Some of those words read:
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.”
The lack of peace on earth is nothing new. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, the Bible records incidents of hate and unrest between individuals and nations. However, more important than peace on earth, is peace with God. In Isaiah, it was prophesied that a child would be born—one of His names would be the “Prince of Peace”. This baby, Jesus, was born several hundred years later. When angels announced the birth of the baby (Jesus), they praised God and proclaimed a message of peace. Just before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. “ Because Christ came to earth as a baby, lived a perfect life and died on a cross to pay the penalty for sin , we can be made right by repentance and faith and experience peace with God (Romans 5:1) As we experience the peace of God, we can be messengers of the peace, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness and hope that we find in Christ.