PUCKETT: Dig a little deeper this Christmas

Published 9:00 am Monday, December 16, 2019

War or peace? Is there really a choice? We hear about peace, but mostly know war on every level from family to community to nation. We long for peace — that “silent” night where “all is calm” — but we do not know how or where to find it.

About the only time we hear about peace is Christmastime, when familiar songs speak of “peace on earth.” The Christmas songs associate “peace” with a man named Jesus, but it seems that mentioning His name brings anything but peace. Maybe we should dig a little deeper and see what peace and Jesus have to do with each other.

A little more than 2,000 years ago in a field in Israel (the last place you would think about peace), an angel — yes, a heavenly spiritual being — made an announcement to a bunch of sheepherders in the midst of a blaze of light. The angel announced that, right then, in a nearby city, Jesus Christ was to be born of a virgin woman named Mary. Jesus was the Son of Almighty God and sent to be Savior. The angel was joined by a host of other angels who summed it all up by saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

That peace will ultimately be imposed as a result of all the enemies of peace being destroyed. But, for now, that peace is elusive and can be had only by surrender. Surrender seems like such a weak move that has no benefit. Surrender only has merit when one can trust that the One surrendered to has only their best interest in mind.

God promised peace through Jesus Christ. There is peace with God and the peace of God.  Peace with God comes by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as the payment for our sin, which gives us forgiveness and ends our war with God. Once we have “peace with God,” we can enter into the “peace of God” with another act of surrender: yielding our lives totally to God’s will. This yielding includes everything: our past, our future — everything.

Those acts of personal surrender to have peace with God and the peace of God might not change one thing around us, but it will change us internally, in our soul. Then we can live with our eternity secure, knowing that not even death can or will separate us from Almighty God who is the creator and lover of our lives.

This Christmas season, dig a little deeper, stick your head in a good church, and find the peace that ends all wars.