Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men
This morning, sunshine streamed through my windows. Compelled to see this first-hand and soak up some much-needed vitamin D, I rushed out the back door without my coat. The brightness in the sky made me think of warmth. But frigid air jolted my senses. Everything within view was covered with snow or white frost.
Standing on my back stoop, I gazed toward the sun. Its early morning brilliance, hindered by the frosty sky, appeared to be shining through a translucent disk. Light hit the trees casting shadows and creating beautiful contrasts to darkness. I took a moment to pray, thanking God for His creation—that He quickly confirmed was passing away.
I lasted about a minute outside and then scooted back in. Checking my phone for the outdoor temperature shocked me. TEN degrees! Brrr!
I thank God for the cold because I know it kills many germs that would seek to harm us come spring. Still, peering out my window and seeing that beautiful sun fooled me into thinking it was much warmer than it was—warmer than the date on my calendar suggested. Suddenly, the Lord impressed upon my heart: physical eyes are easily deceived. What we see isn’t always spiritual truth.
TRUTH is God’s Holy Word—Jesus Christ the Living Word.
I understood. Some seeing with physical eyes may view our nation’s current situation as warm and inviting like I did the sunshine. But right now, the spiritual reality is the exact opposite. All things will happen according to God’s plan. Only He knows the end from the beginning and how long we have until Jesus returns for His church. But Jesus did say, when these things begin to happen, we should look up and lift our heads because our redemption draws near.
As frigid temps gripped me this morning, so did the thought of how many hearts grow cold toward our God. The falling away has commenced and is rapidly increasing.
HATE is strong in our nation, just as Longfellow wrote on Christmas Day 1863 after he had endured personal tragedies and when the American Civil War was in full swing. Yet he ended each stanza with a portion of Luke 2:14, “…peace on earth, good will to men.”
Commentaries and other translations imply the KJV scholars mistranslated this verse. They say the PEACE offered by the angels was only for those upon whom God’s favor rests. While I know the PEACE of God that surpasses understanding may be conditional, their interpretation of Luke 2:14 flies in the face—defies—what I know of my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Through Scripture, we learn our Almighty Triune God loves His creation, and SIN grieves Him. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” was given to a dark world in the fullness of time. God’s holy angels announced the birth of the One who would bring in everlasting peace. Through Him, through His physical, human birth, giving God, who is Spirit, the ability to die as our substitute, PEACE was offered to EVERY man, but is only imparted to those who believe and receive Him.
Wondering why I’m referencing a Christmas verse when we are over a month past Christmas? Well, with the current state of our Union, PEACE is shattered. Chaos ensues. And it feels as though another civil war is raging.
Father God, the signs are here. Your great wrath upon SIN is fast approaching. We live in a dark world desperate for Your PEACE. Help us to love our enemy, pray for their salvation, and to be Your beacon of light as long as we can. Move us, O Lord, to seek first the kingdom of God and Your righteousness, for You are our strength. Grant us good cheer as we navigate our troubled times—this prelude to the 7-year tribulation—coming upon the whole earth. Lord Jesus, provide Your comfort and PEACE—as You promised, saying, “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.”