What Now?

T’was the season to be jolly, but with Christmas long in the rear view mirror, now what?

Jesus Christ, “the Prince of Peace,” knowing His followers would be aliens in an antagonistic society said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto 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)

At His birth an angelic messenger said, “Peace on earth, good will toward men…”  Cynics scoffed at such an idea. Mockery is still made of the idea. 

Misanthropists delight to say it has been nearly 2,000 years and this promise hasn’t been realized.

Henry W. Longfellow penned the words resulting from hearing Christmas bells during the un-Civil war and despairing. It sums up the concept held by many. 
“I heard the bells on Christmas day 
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth good-will to men.

“And in despair I bowed my head:
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said.
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

True, hate is strong. Read it in the headlines of international news. Observe the daily local news of lives taken. Note it in schools where students have so much going for them, yet, they show disregard for one another and inflict physical, emotional, and psychological pain on each other.

In despair we might agree, “There is no peace on earth!”

A biblical perspective seems to have swept across Longfellow’s thoughts as he continued to write:
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor does He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will toward men!”

It was to people in the antagonistic environment where hate was strong that Christ said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)

This message is misunderstood by many to be a prophecy of peace. Instead it is a prescription for peace. Only when taken does it work.

Even in the acid soil of discontent, bitterness, hate, and tribulation  the sweet fruit of peace grows. 

Resolve to learn from Him the precepts and practices resulting in personal peace that enables you to “be of good cheer.”