Jesus stirred up conflict, but in him the world would find peace, and he told us so, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
On Christmas Eve 1914, in the midst of World War I, silence replaced gunfire between the Germans and the British. Then singing was heard from the German side; a Christmas Carol, Stille Nacht (Silent Night). A placard was raised above a trench, “YOU NO FIGHT, WE NO FIGHT.” The British responded, “MERRY CHRISTMAS.” Soldiers emerged, cautious at first, then joyfully. Gifts were exchanged, chocolate cake and wine, photos of families. A soccer game erupted (British 3, Germans 2). It was Christmas, after all.
It didn’t last. The generals did not like it. It was war, after all.
But for a day there was peace on earth, good will toward men.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
God of peace, Shalom. I look forward to the day the world is brought into order. When the lion lays with the lamb. When there are no enemies, no war, no hatred, no tears. No death.
You Son brought Your Kingdom near. May I embrace the peace that life in You brings. I know my future and have nothing to fear, because my eternity rests in You.