Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Charles Wesley in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”
We’ve been waiting and now peace has come visiting!
It might not seem that way. There is still so much enmity, violence, oppression, and evil in the world. The list of injustices, fears, and hatreds too long to list here, the ways that we harm one another, ourselves, and God, too numerous.
But then we remember!
The people who had been living in darkness
have seen a great light.
The light of life has shined on those who dwelt
in the shadowy darkness of death.
Isaiah 9:2 (The Voice Bible)
In remembering, we are, as theologian James K.A. Smith tells us “catapulted in the future.” A future of salvation, consummation, healing, wholeness, and new life. A future filled with possibility, a future rooted in God’s creative and re-creative intention for all the created order. A future of promise because the light of Christ has come.
With all that is happening around us, it is easy to be discouraged, easy to be afraid. It is easy to believe the voices that tell us to build more walls, to fear the stranger, to be suspicious of neighbor. Easy to want to exclude, demonize, and answer violence with more violence.
It is at these moments that we remind ourselves that the one of peace has come. That the good news of salvation has come in the flesh. God becoming one of us, God brought low so that all humanity could live, could flourish, could be raised, and could experience a new birth, a new life, a whole life!
This Christmas Eve we’ll gather and celebrate that a savior has been born. Because God became one of us we no longer have to live in darkness, we no longer have to live in brokenness, we no longer have to live in strife with ourselves, each other, and creation.
15 He is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the eternal. 16 It was by Him that everything was created: the heavens, the earth, all things within and upon them, all things seen and unseen, thrones and dominions, spiritual powers and authorities. Every detail was crafted through His design, by His own hands, and for His purposes.17 He has always been! It is His hand that holds everything together. 18 He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, the first of those to be reborn from the dead, so that in every aspect, at every view, in everything—He is first. 19 God was pleased that all His fullness should forever dwell in the Son 20 who, as predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the cross as God’s means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation—all things in heaven and all things on earth.
Colossians 1:15-20 (The Voice Bible)
Peace. With Us. Peace. With All Creation. Thanks be to God!!