On Sunday, we continued our season of Advent: a time to celebrate the arrival of Jesus on this earth some two thousand years ago and the anticipation of Him coming back once and for all.
To honor this time, we lit the second Advent candle which represents peace—the peace that Jesus ushered in when He first came. In Luke 2:14, the angels declared to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
From a worldly perspective, one might wonder: Where is this peace that the angels announced? When we look around, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of peace happening in our world. But the thing we have to realize is that the world’s definition of peace is completely different from God’s definition.
The world’s idea of peace has to do with the absence of conflict. It’s based on the circumstances going on around us. And from that point of view, we have never experienced peace in our world. Wars and conflicts have raged throughout the ages, since the fall of mankind.
The peace that the angels were talking about was a different kind of peace. In John 14:27, Jesus tells His disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.”
Jesus tells us here that He came to give us His peace and it’s not the kind of peace that the word tries to give us. That’s because God’s peace is supernatural and complete. Paul describes it as a peace that passes all understanding. It’s not a peace that’s based on circumstances. It’s a peace that comes from the comfort of knowing that God is with us regardless of our circumstances.
The peace that Jesus brought was His presence. The Bible tells us that Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” God is with us and continues to bathe us in peace while we continue to live in a fallen, broken world. I pray that we all experience HIS peace this Christmas, regardless of the circumstances around us!