The promise of “peace on earth” seems to be in pieces this Christmas season with news of increased terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals. Pope Francis told churchgoers that Christmas this year is going to be a “charade” because “the whole world is at war.” The earth was at peace on Christ first arrival on earth, but only because the pax romana—the peace of Rome—had completely crushed its enemies and set up harsh military rule in the Holy Land.
However, the hope the prophet Isaiah offered nearly 3,000 years ago is still our hope today!
- The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine (9:1-2).
For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen! (9:4-7).
Our world was dark in 700 BC, again at the time of Christ and now in today’s world of terrorists attacks throughout the world. But we are promised that Christ will return as the “Wonderful Counselor” to heal all our anxieties and brokenness, a “Mighty God” to restore fairness and justice, an “Everlasting Father” to love and provide for us, and the “Prince of Peace” to cause all wars and conflicts to cease.
That’s the hope of Christmas. It’s not a “charade.” Jesus came as a baby to restore our relationship with God—and is coming a second time to restore our world with “peace on earth.”
Copyright © 2015 James N. Watkins
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