“Peace on earth, and goodwill to all men.”
So many of us have heard these words ring in our ears every Christmas.
These are the words the angels said to shepherds when Jesus was born – “peace on earth, and goodwill to all men.”
We have heard these words hidden in carols, we’ve heard preachers read them out of the Bible, or seen them as captions on social media or on family Christmas cards.
“PEACE on earth, and goodwill to all men.”
For a long time now, I’ve always thought that peace meant: to be calm, to be serene and to be in a state of bliss.
Google the word, ‘peace’ and this is what you will find –
And I have agreed with this definition for a long time.
It is only this year that I realized that when the Bible was written, it wasn’t written in English, and when it was translated to other languages, it wasn’t Google that did it.
As it turns out, the word ‘peace’ isn’t really what we understand as ‘freedom from disturbance’ – it is not the absence of a disturbance or a conflict, but it is the presence of something that makes us complete.
Peace, as the Bible defines it, means a right relationship with God and a right relationship with people.
Now, I want us to think about that for a moment – a right relationship with people.
Do we really have that with everyone? You may not be at war with someone, but again, that’s just the absence of a fight. But do you have that presence of peace with people?
Even as you read this, there’s a person’s name that’s come to your mind – someone you’ve had a recent or long conflict with, someone you’ve been angry with, or has hurt you and you’ve just had a difficult time harboring unforgiveness against them.
Or maybe it’s you who’ve hurt someone and you’ve been so disturbed that you haven’t been able to ask for forgiveness.
You know it’s been holding you back, and you’ve felt an uneasiness within you everytime you’ve thought about it, even though you’ve constantly told yourself that you don’t care anymore.
I want to encourage you, that God isn’t done with you and your relationship with that person, or those people.
And my hope is that as you read this, the words will ring aloud again – “Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.”
That’s what Jesus came for. That’s what the angels sang.
He came so that you could have a right relationship with those around you.
Take that step today – meet them halfway – send that text, make that call, give that hug; start with a prayer – and you just might find the peace that you’ve been looking for.
And if you find yourself saying that it’s too hard, and that halfway is a long way to go and maybe it’s not worth it, remember what peace means – a right relationship with God first, and then a right relationship with man.
God took care of that first half by coming down on Christmas day, and He did it by going all the way.
We hope this post has blessed you. While you’re here, here’s a cover of Casting Crown’s ‘I heard the bells on Christmas Day’ which is about peace on earth. Hope you are blessed by it.