Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terri ed. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
What is peace? Have you ever wondered? We are all looking for peace in our own lives. And we certainly want peace on earth. But what exactly is this quality we so desire?
I think the story of the shepherds, who heard the announcement of Jesus Christ’s birth, may give us a clue.
These shepherds were not living in particularly peaceful times. Their nation, Judea, was under the tyranny of Rome and the unpredictable rule of their king, Herod. Their normally quiet town of Bethlehem was packed with visitors, who were staying there to register for the census. The tranquil setting of the hillsides above Bethlehem must have been a welcome respite.
Suddenly, their serenity was shattered by the appearance of an angel. The shepherds were terri ed. After announcing the birth of the Saviour of the world, the angels’ final statement was a proclamation of peace. Do you find that strange?
The shepherds were fearful of Rome, anxious about Herod and disturbed by the chaos of the census. And now an angel appears and declares peace. And then things became much worse. Bethlehem be- came the victim of Herod’s cruelty. So where’s the peace?
Maybe, we have misunderstood the concept. We often think of peace as the absence of something. The absence of war, fear, anxiety or trouble. So when we seek peace, we look for it in settings where there are none of those things – like a hillside above Bethlehem. But as this story attests, the proclamation didn’t remove the problems. So maybe true peace is not the absence of something but the Presence of Someone.
The Good News is not the promise of a trouble-free world. As Jesus Christ said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  The Good News is the promise of the Presence of the Prince of Peace who came to bring us peace with God. In this world we will never find a trouble-free life but in Him we can always have a peace-filled one.
By Robert Fergusson
I love that hand in hand with the great declaration of praise (Glory to God) comes the powerful statement of peace! Because of the ultimate peace project, God sending Jesus to a lost, broken and hopeless world we can now, with great joy in the midst of any season and circumstance, bring praise and sing “Glory to God.”
The exciting news is God didn’t send Jesus to bring peace just for those who were living on the earth during the time of his birth over 2,000 years ago but for EVERYONE FOR ALL TIME! This is means US!! Everything that Jesus’ birth, life and death accomplished (and as this song states, ‘peace coming to earth’) means that today in whatever it is we may nd ourselves doing, or the season we are in, we get to declare His praise and peace on earth. This is powerful because the truth of His peace on earth we can, with faith and boldness, declare the lyrics in this song over our lives and those around us. Truths like the words in the verse that Jesus came to, ‘heal the blind and broken’, that’s freedom for ALL!
This is very good news for us all! My prayer for you and I is that during this season, the powerful truth of the lyrics in this song would be our statement of faith, for us and all the people in our world; that we can boldly bring praise to God for He sent Jesus to be the answer for us in our time of troubles, brokenness and joys!
By Jonathon Douglass
CONNECTION & ACTION
1. What is peace? Jesus is called the ‘Prince of Peace’. What does this mean in our life & world?
2. What fears, anxieties or situations do you need the presence of the Prince of Peace?
3. If the presence of the Prince of Peace is good news, how can we share this with our world?
– The ongoing work of Vision Rescue in India
– That we would be presented with opportunities to incite peace in our homes & community
– In the midst of global tension & turmoil, that the peace of Christ would reign