by Chris Gill
Associate Pastor, Every Nation NYC, East Side
Peace on earth. These are words that I can barely fathom, especially in light of recent events in our nation but particularly here in our city. From the racial tensions among whites and blacks to the strained relations between the public and law enforcement, it has been an unsettling autumn.
Trust has been broken, families have been torn apart, and lives have been unnecessarily taken from us. “Peace on earth” seem like words uttered in a fairy tale, and carry no weight.
Jesus was also no stranger to tragedy. His life started out as a toddler avoiding an assassination attempt that included him fleeing to another country. Later his cousin’s life was cut short when a little girl asked that John’s head be given to her on a food serving tray. Another time, He was betrayed by one of his closest friends through an unjustly arrest that eventually led Jesus down a path that resulted in his execution. Where was the peace then? Where is it now?
Complete peace will never exist on earth among humanity as long as sin is present. Peace and sin are like oil and water, they can’t coexist. Yet on that night, above a field full of mangy sheep and a few shepherds, the sky lit up with tons of angels and they announced:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
-Luke 2:14 ESV
When we accept Christ to be the Lord and Savior of our lives and He dwells within us, then peace also exists within us. That doesn’t mean that bad things no longer happen to us or that we’re immune to fear, but rather we have a foundational truth in our minds and hearts that we stand upon in times of great peril. We understand three things as Christians:
1) God is ultimately in control despite the presence & action of sin around us.
2) He is a God of justice and will not let sin escape judgement.
3) Despite our circumstances, He works all things together for the good in our lives as we love, trust, and follow His ways.
Peace on earth will not exist until Jesus Christ comes again and brings the final judgement in which the presence of sin, the devil, and all of his fallen angels are expelled and confined to a supernatural eternal prison. Then and only then will peace on earth exist as a whole. For now, the peace within us as Christians is merely a sufficient taste of what is to come.
Join with me as we pray for all the families out there who have lost loved ones this year. Let’s pray that God’s peace will dwell among them. And as always, let’s lift up our city and #PrayForNYC.