Peace On Earth
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” – John 1.9-11
We have swung around the sun yet again to the spot where peace on earth and joy to the world are sung about, spoken most oft, and garishly celebrated. And yet rotation after rotation, sunrise and sunset, peace is wrenched from the earth and joy is apparently late again in arriving.
The very recent headline blared out “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS“. There are multitudes with whom this frustration resonates. Indeed, if God does exist and if his power is enough to create our mind-blowing universe then he certainly has the power to tidy up this mess. Apparently he simply doesn’t have the will to do so.
But men have stood on their heads for far too long. Instead the headline should read “MEN AREN’T FIXING THIS”.
There was certainly an age during the bloom of enlightenment where the race of men was very optimistic in solving every problem, of evolving out of chaos, of lifting himself out of misery. And yet it was the very fruit of this age that led us straight into the bloodiest, most violent century of all history. Men aren’t fixing this. In fact it may be more accurately stated Man isn’t fixing this. For we cannot even meet our own expectations of ourselves. It was Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who said “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Rewind back 2000 years. What exactly were the angels carrying on about? Peace on earth? The best description of the history of men since that day is anything but peaceful. (Luke 2.14) In the story we call Christmas God is boldly stating that He is fixing this. That the cure for our illness is being revealed. But it is this admission that is absolutely critical. Can we accept that we are sick? A man who is blind to his ailment can never be healed. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” – Luke 5. 31-32 The peace of the earth hinges on Jesus the Christ. God has already worked out his method of redemption and it has not failed. Its fullness is just around the corner, a reality so complete, so perfect, that even tears have no place.
So cease spouting vague and empty platitudes and acknowledge the false hope that peace on earth will ever come without the death of all men. Even you. Especially you. For this is what God called each and every one of us to in Jesus. To die. And through this death, resurrection. And through the resurrection the cosmos remade. Christmas is not a warm fuzzy feel good story. It is absolutely terrifying. Stop pretending that it’s not.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” – Romans 8. 18-21
Glory to God in the Highest.