by Andrew Cromwell
During the Christmas season there is always a flurry of activity—Christmas parties, gift giving, carols, and awkward family time. As much as the holiday has become a secular tradition, it has survived the many attempts to cleanse it of its spiritual origins, “Christ” remains squarely in Christmas. He is the reason we give gifts during this season.
And He is the reason we hear the phrase “peace on earth” in songs, written on Christmas cards, and spoken in prayers. “Peace on earth” is not some clever marketing phrase invented by mad men in a smoky, New York corner office in the fifties. Neither is it an empty powerless colloquialism uttered when we don’t know what else to say.
“Peace on Earth” is a declaration. It is an announcement. It is a blessing. It was spoken by the angels who appeared to those lonely shepherds on that Nazareth hillside to announce the birth of Jesus. And it was spoken by Jesus to the wind and the waves.
It is in fact the will of our Father in heaven. He desires that peace would not only visit but inhabit the earth. Isaiah 2:4 envisions a day in the future when God’s perfect will is fully expressed. In that day, “the LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.”
Can you imagine? No more refugees fleeing from their war-torn homeland. No more bombs and guns pointed to intimidate and destroy. No more threats, curses and violence. Peace will reign.
And so when we pray for “peace on earth”, we are in agreement with the will of the Father. And we anticipate a future day when our prayers will become a reality.
But God not only wants peace in our world, He also wants peace in our homes. He wants peace between you and your spouse and you and your children. He wants to see the weapons worn smooth by frequent use to be laid down and for a ceasefire to be declared. He desires brothers and sisters to once again live in harmony and unity.
Is your home a place of peace or is it torn by war? Is it destroyed by words aimed at wounding deeply and scarring permanently or is it a place where people can find refuge, comfort, and healing?
If you find that the level of peace in your home is less than what you desire this season, then I want to encourage you. You have influence where you live. You can influence the people as well as the very environment that surrounds you.
The first key to finding peace is to put your mind in the right place. Isaiah 26 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you.” Perhaps this is the day when you need to make peace with our good Father.
The second key is to invite His peace into your home. Have you asked God for His peace to come and live in your house? Now is a good time to do so.
And third, fight for peace. Instead of fighting with others or allowing others to fight in your home, choose to create a space for peace to live. Don’t let other people determine the environment that is created -- you create it!
May His peace dwell richly with you this season.