“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Many years ago, at a Bible study one December night, I asked the group members, “What is your wish or prayer request this Christmas? “The common answers of protection for the holiday travels, wonderful time with loved ones and healing for sick family members popped up. But one person said, “Peace on earth,” which kind of surprised some of the group members.
I googled the question “What’s the greatest Christmas wish?” Peace on earth and good will to men was the top answer in the list. This is surprising because Christmas has become highly commercialized. At the start of the “-ber” months in the Philippines, Christmas carols played by department stores beckon us to start buying gifts. Ads on tv, social media and in the newspapers entice us to make purchases to fulfill our loved ones’ Christmas wishes.
How we wish for peace even when there’s no war. We want to have peace in our relationships with others. We desire peace when there is turmoil in our soul because of a worrisome predicament. We long for peace that everything will turn out well in a seemingly impossible situation. And most importantly, we want to be at peace with God.
Can we have an all-encompassing kind of peace? Yes. And it starts with having peace with God.
Because of the fall of man, the peace that once existed between God and man was replaced by enmity. Our sin separated us from God. And sin resulted in man doing things that affect his relationship with his fellowmen – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, among others. Fear replaced peace in our hearts. That is why news of calamities, wars and disasters easily unsettled man from the earliest of days.
Some 700 years before Christ was born, the prophet Isaiah predicted the coming of the Messiah who would be known as the Prince of Peace. Jesus is the Messiah whom the prophets of old were referring to. The Jews were expecting the Anointed One to arrive like a warrior who would save them from the oppressive Romans; instead, Jesus was born in a humble way. God announced the birth of His Son through angels who came, not to teachers of the law, but to lowly shepherds who gladly welcomed Him. In the course of Jesus’ life and ministry, His miracles and teaching confirmed that He is the long-awaited Messiah. Still, many rejected Him. But to those who believed and received Jesus, they became children of God and on them His favor rested.
Jesus’ foremost ministry is that of reconciliation. He came to reconcile us to God. To do that, He had to pay for our sins by dying on the cross. With the sin problem dealt with, Jesus offers eternal life to those who receive Him and believe in Him. When a person trusts in Jesus as his Savior, he is reconciled to the Lord and there is peace with God. The Father’s favor rests on those who have received His grace and salvation. Having this reconciled relationship with God through Christ makes it possible to live at peace with others. Jesus is also the one who gives us the peace that would enable us to overcome troubling and difficult situations. Whatever happens around us, we can have this peace that surpasses understanding. It’s this peace of God through Christ that is available to His children.
So, asking for peace on earth isn’t a far-fetched Christmas wish after all. But we could also do our part to make this a reality. How? Let us be peacemakers in times of conflicts. Let us be ambassadors for Christ sharing the gospel message of reconciliation. Let the Prince of Peace rule in our hearts today and always. Merry Christmas and peace to you all!
 Isaiah 59:2
 Matthew 5:19
 Isaiah 9:6
 2 Corinthians 5:18
 John 1:12; John 3:16
 Romans 5:1
 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
 Romans 12:18; Romans 14:19
 John 14:27; John 16:33
 Philippians 4:7
 Matthew 5:9
 2 Corinthians 5:20
Pastor Benjie Miranda is formerly the senior pastor of Global Commission Fellowship North (GCF North) where he served for 18 years. He has served as a pastor in the GCF family of churches since 1996. Married to Mimi, they have three children: Mia, BJ, and Heidi, who has gone home to heaven in 2001.