Peace on Earth?

Jon S -

What does Peace at Christmas mean?

Every Christmas song playing at the mall seems to talk about peace.

Gene Autrey declares “Peace on Earth will come to all if we just follow the light” but never discusses what the peace is or where the light is going.

John Lennon’s anti-war Happy Xmas implies peace is the absence of fighting.

And so happy Christmas for black and for white

For yellow and red ones let’s stop all the fights”

Even the classic Christmas carols talk about peace.

Do You Hear What I Hear implores people to “Pray for peace, people everywhere!”

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day was written by Henry Wadsworth Longellow during the Civil War, and one of its verses wrestles with the concept of peace on earth in times of war:

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

There is one Christmas Carol that understands what the peace of Christmas is – but before we go there, let’s look at what the Bible says about the Peace of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us about the peace:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Yes, the baby in the manger was the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!

Micah 5 goes into further detail:

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting….And this man shall be the peace…

Micah 5:2,5

Yes, Jesus wasn’t just an ambassador of peace, He was the peace! That’s why Haggai prophesied that the humble Zerubbabel Temple would surpass Solomon’s glory – not because of Herod’s building projects, but because the LORD’s Peace would be given here.

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

Haggai 2:9

Keep in mind, Jesus didn’t come to bring peace between the Jews and the Romans, He came to bring peace between man and God!

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:1

In fact Jesus Himself said that He wasn’t bringing political peace (Matthew 10:34) in contrast to many of the Christmas songs of today, but eternal peace.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you

John 14:27 

So let’s go back to the Christmas Carol that recognizes the truth of the Peace of Christmas:

Hail! the heaven-born Prince of Peace!

Hail! the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings,

risen with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by,

born that man no more may die;

Born to raise the sons of earth,

born to give them second birth

Hark! the herald angels sing,

“Glory to the newborn King”

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