"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14).
Bad news is everywhere. It seems even worse during holiday celebrations. All you have to do is open a newspaper to find out there is no peace on earth right now. There never has been. That's because men's hearts are evil unless they are connected to God. Jesus Himself foretold of "wars and rumors of wars" as a sign of the last days (Matthew 24:6).
When the angels said to the shepherds, "peace and goodwill toward men," they were not referring to the absence of war. Peace between God and man is the gift of Christmas. That is the good news.
There is no war between God and man any longer unless man refuses the perfect sacrifice. But sometimes we forget what He really gave us. We get caught up in shopping, traveling, cooking, and parties and in the frenzy of it all, we lose our peace. Rushing to purchase that last gift, getting cut off in traffic, and long check-out lines can frustrate us to the point of losing the meaning of the celebration.
In all the haste of the season, take a few moments to stop and leave it all behind. Focus only on the baby, the reason for the season. Ponder these words from Jesus, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
May His peace be the best gift you receive this Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all!