The Visit of the Peace of Christmas Past
The Visit of Peace of Christmas Past
† I.H.S. †
May the peace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ bring you great peace, as you bring the Christmas message of Immanuel to the World!
Whose Christmas Past?
As Ebenezer Scrooge met the ghost of Christmas Past, he had one question. He asked the shadowy ghost was whether it was there to talk about Christmas long past, or the Christmas of His past.
And as we look at the peace of Christmas past, that is still a good question, to begin with, are we talking about the peace of Christmas long past, or the peace of our Christmas past.
Some of you are saying, “What’s the difference!”
For tonight – we will answer the Lutheran way, that is, both the Christmas of long past and the Christmases of our past…
For Jesus brings peace to the past.
Was the Past that Peaceful?
Many need to bring to Jesus that peace to their past Christmas.
Maybe there were years when the world was at war, or maybe it was just their families that were divided and broken. Maybe It was broken hearts that couldn’t understand how everyone else could be joyous and happy. Maybe it was finances that challenged them, or addictions or their health or the health of those they love.
Many of us have some good memories, but also hard ones, and those steal away the peace, for the moment.
In Isaiah’s passage this evening, we heard a promise made to people that were challenged with many of the same challenges. Many of them dealt with broken families, broken finances, broken by sin and shame, with heartache. Which was why peace seemed impossible, as impossible as natural enemies that would forgo the violence, and instead find peace with each other.
Such a passage would mean nothing special, if there was peace at the time. For what division would be reconciled, what anger would be calmed, what relationships would need to be healed? Isaiah’s promise revealed that this would happen….that they could wait for it
And that is promise in which God’s people trusted. Because of that promise, and His Spirit confirming it, they could find peace in the mist of the chaos. They could wait for the cross which was to come, they could wait for the point when all would be reconciled together in the death of Christ, just as we wait for the day when all is reconciled in His resurrection. They knew the brokenness that they endured in their society would fade. God had promised it.
When our eyes are on God’s promise we can wait as well, Looking at the Christmas’s in our past, as we realize that the peace of God was with us, even in the middle of the fights, the anxiety, the frustrations and pain. He sustained us in our Christmas past, just as He sustained them.
We could look forward because of the promise
Each visit of the ghosts taught Scrooge something, in Dicken’s parable, and as we look at the visit of the peace of Christmas Past, we realize that the peace we knew then is the peace that we know now, a peace that looks forward, trusting in God to do finish what He has completed in us.
A peace that enables us to look forward to the day when lambs and wolves relax together, and nothing hurts or destroys anymore, to the day where we live with Him will be a glorious place.
It is the peace that hope gives us that we are sustained in now, as Jesus keeps us safe in that peace. AMEN!!