by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’” (Luke 2:13-14)
What are the lyrics in the angels’ song of salvation? A proclamation of peace! Peace that had never been available on earth was, in the presence of the shepherds, offered freely from heaven. This peace was something brand-new, never heard of before, never experienced in history—peace that only heaven knew, now offered to people on earth.
Surely the Father knew the great longing of the human heart. He knew what was missing and elusive—what no human heart could conjure for itself. The very centerpiece of His proclamation announced the greatest benefit of His Gift. Peace.
Until Jesus, no one could know true, lasting peace. The Old Testament, before the Incarnation, promises peace, but it is a peace that is not fully known until the Prince of Peace bestows it.
Peace was the highlight and the focus of His coming, and peace was the theme Jesus emphasized as He was preparing His disciples for His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension—when His presence with them would be through His Spirit and no longer through His physical body.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
He says that His peace is not like the world’s peace. What do you think is the difference? The world offers a cheap imitation of peace. It stays in place until the next disappointment arrives, or hurtful memory surfaces, or uncertainty presents itself. In other words, it is fleeting and shallow. It never stays put for long.
His peace is not like the world’s peace because His peace is anchored in eternal realities. He knows what we do not. His peace imparted to us through His Spirit puts down deep roots and grows stronger as time passes.
“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.” (John 16:33)
In Him, we can have peace in spite of any trouble we will encounter. Peace is on deposit in us.
Fully rest your heart and life on Him. Give yourself fully to Jesus, and Jesus will hold you. Remember Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat as the storm raged? That’s the kind of peace He imparts. Peace that has its anchor in eternal realities rather than being subject to the moment.
Heaven’s brand of peace is now available to you because Jesus imparts His peace to you. It’s the centerpiece of salvation, the content of the heavenly birth announcement. Peace to you.
Adapted from Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean Prayinglife.org
*Art of the acrostic for PEACE available for download