Christmas Reflection - Peace has been declared – Hope 103.2

Christmas Reflection – Peace has been declared

Soldiers in wartime long for peace to come so they can go home. Lieutenant Onoda was an exception. He was a Japanese soldier in the Philippines who was told to fight to the death come what may. When the war ended, he was alone in the jungle and refused to believe the leaflets that were […]

By David ReayWednesday 24 Dec 2014FaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Soldiers in wartime long for peace to come so they can go home. Lieutenant Onoda was an exception. He was a Japanese soldier in the Philippines who was told to fight to the death come what may. When the war ended, he was alone in the jungle and refused to believe the leaflets that were dropped in his area telling him that there was no longer any need to fight. So he carried on his futile private war against a non-existent enemy.

LUKE 2:8-14

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 terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 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 favor rests.” 

On that first Christmas morning, an angelic group made a declaration of peace. No more was there a necessary enmity between God and his human creation. There was now the offer of peace. The baby in a manger would grow up and make peace possible. He would do this by taking on himself the ugly load of all that made enmity a reality. 

If we choose to ignore what Jesus did and who he is, then we are in warfare with God. It might be respectable rebellion or outright hostility. No matter, it still makes friendship with God impossible. The angels near Bethlehem tell us that this need not be so any more. We don’t have to strive to be worthy of that friendship. We simply receive it by helpless and humble faith. Peace with God isn’t something we have to earn; it is something we gratefully receive.

How sad it is that we go on fighting against God in our many and varied ways when all the time he offers us peace. So what is it to be for us this Christmas? War or peace?