This week’s news plus a surprising Christmas message
IT’S NEWS TO ME
The Way to Peace: Israeli Victory, Palestinian Defeat (great recap and analysis of recent history)
SETTING OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE
Not Peace, but a Sword
Today on Christmas eve, the time of peace on earth and good will toward men, real peace may seem elusive. I’m talking about both peace on earth and peace within. The whole thing gets even more complicated when we read passages like Matthew 10:34:
“I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
This verse seems to contradict the whole message of Christmas, but does it really? Too often, during the Christmas season we can relate to the sword image more than one of peace. Our problem is that we’re seeking the wrong kind of peace and seeking it in all the wrong places. Many of us long to relive Christmas memories from our past, when nothing compared to the thrill of Christmas morning, or caroling with friends, or playing in the snow. Too often, nothing today measures up to the images in our memories. That was then. This is now.
Getting back to the verse, the sword Jesus was referring to was the sword He brought to pierce through and destroy every “peace” that didn’t come directly from an intimate and personal relationship with Him. His peace was drastically different from the peace the world offered which was temporary and superficial. His peace was not based on circumstances, people, getting the desired outcome from life, or fond memories.
It was and is based on a relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that transcends anything the world can offer. It is a relationship that offers acceptance and restoration when we fall, unconditional love when we are unlovable, and security when the world seems to be falling apart. He knows us better that we know ourselves, and He has made provision for all our deepest needs.
In Jesus, the pressure to perform is gone. All that needed to happen to separate us from our sins and everything that brings us down has already been done…on the cross. Nothing we can do will make Him love us more or love us less.
Once we embrace His peace, worldly peace, or lack thereof, really doesn’t matter. The things we used to substitute for His peace have been killed by His sword. May you experience His peace this Christmas.
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