Illustration: “Peace” by William Strutt, 1896. Oil on canvas.
As we wait to celebrate the birth of the promised Messiah, we wait for the coming of Him again who would bring peace. Today we live between the times. Jesus’ birth would usher in the Messianic Kingdom when God comes to us and reconciles us to Himself. That historic incarnation gives us shalom, the peace that passes all understanding.
But he will come again to bring the other peace that we long for, the lion laying down with the lamb. That peace is as elusive today as it was during the “silent” years between Malachi and Matthew. One foreign nation after another waged war on little Israel, and they, like us, longed for peace. His coming in quiet, in a manger in Bethlehem, did not do much for little Israel. They would still see dark days to come. But those who would venture to the manger and praise God with the angels would see God’s forgiveness and live in hope.
Today the world is blowing up around us. News of atrocities across the Middle East, terrorism in our own land, and living in fear seems to be what the world is serving. But if we venture to the manger and praise God with the angels, we will see God’s forgiveness and live in the hope that he promises. No amount of bad news can steal our shalom.
Prayer: Father God, hold us in your arms tonight and lead us to the manger, to see your promises come true, and hold onto the promises yet to come. Amen.
As We Wait: It is tempting to live in fear, but fear is not of God. Focus on his promise, and with our Lord Jesus, say, “get behind me Satan.” He will not still our peace.