There are a few words that just roll of the tongue throughout the holiday season in various forms as we communicate with one another. Sometimes we compose emails and express wishes for happiness or joy even if we are addressing coworkers or strangers. We send cards and compose Facebook statuses (statusi?) and include many repeated and well-worn phrases that we take for granted as traditional Christmas lingo. We shower hopes for prosperity and health in the coming year upon those we love. We send relatives who live far away sentiments “Wishing you were here!” whether we mean that or not. So many words come to have such a repetitive, ubiquitous familiarity that in my opinion they become cliché and lose their significance.
One of these words is ‘Peace’. This simple five letter word has fallen into the overused category and often seen in décor and in printed material, but I don’t think most people connect with a concept of peace in this day and age. Peace is hard to come by. Peace in my humble opinion is a rare commodity, highly sought after and pursued, yet seldom attained.
Our theme for our Christmas services this year at the church I attend is Prince of Peace. I had the privilege of composing a spoken word poem on this topic which I read at the services. I would like to share this piece with you as I continue to meditate on the topic of Peace this lovely Christmas Day.
I’ve heard this word. The word is peace. But few have known it. For who can own it? In this broken world where death and lies increase, and anguished cries never cease. For you see, sin stole your serenity. Sin train-wrecked your tranquility. Sin dug a pit so wide and so deep, a pit of shame that was designed to keep you separated, isolated far away from this God who created you, created you to know peace.
Now, ever since, this world has tried to substitute a false peace inside. So your medication pacifies while the mass media mystifies. Philosophers – they theorize. (They’re oh so wise in their own eyes) The politicians mediate, negotiate and legislate all of it is supposed to bring us peace. But it’s a failure. It’s a fraud. It’s a mockery to God.
But I’ve heard a word from distant ages. I’ve heard the voice of ancient sages. Men like Isaiah who had good news to tell. He said it so well “They will call His name Immanuel”. So the word became flesh and dwelt among us. God with us, it’s Jesus. And so, from echoes in darkest days rose up mighty men of faith who cast their gaze ahead to see the time when God would set his feet on mortal sod. And in this sacred advent we find redemption for humankind.
For Christ met all of sin’s demands when His blood flowed free from feet and hands. And now nothing man can fabricate, or duplicate or imitate can ever terminate or eradicate or eliminate your sin. NOTHING!
So hear this word – the Word of life. Jesus Christ has destroyed sin’s deep pit. He filled that void. He bridged the gap. He spanned the breach across which no one else could reach. He reconciled the lost and lonely. He paid the price for your release. This Jesus is the one, the only Son of God who came to be your peace!
Perhaps peace means to you the absence of conflict or the presence of quiet. Perhaps when you think of peace you remember a snow covered morning before the hustle and bustle of the day intruded on the beauty of nature. These are images we have associated with peace; yet even in these pristine moments we can experience turmoil if our soul is not in right relationship with our creator. From the very bottom of my heart, my prayer for you this Christmas is that you may experience the deep lasting peace that transcends circumstance and surpasses human understanding which begins with placing your life in the hands of that baby in the manger. Merry Christmas!