Today's Devotional Thought
December 13, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Peace on Earth
If you're like me, you have heard this phrase associated with the Christmas story forever, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Have you ever stopped for a moment to contemplate what this phrase means?
This phrase appears in Luke's account of Jesus' birth and it is spoken by the angels that appear to the shepherds. And, it beautifully captures the purpose of Jesus' birth: to restore peace to those of us on earth who have been separated from God by our sins. The favor that is referred to in this passage is actually better translated as grace. Jesus is a symbol of God's grace towards us and his coming restores our relationship with God by taking on our sins. In Colossians 1, we see this theme again as Paul recounts the purpose of Jesus' coming. He says in verses 19 and 20,
"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they were clearly announcing the purpose of Jesus' birth: to restore peace to those who accept the gift that God has given us through his son. Jesus was born to restore our relationship with God. And, that was his entire purpose for coming. And, when the angels told the shepherds that their savior had been born, they were reminding them of his purpose and the peace that you can have by accepting this gift from God. Do you have this peace? Have you accepted this free gift from God? This Christmas season, reflect on the gift to the world that Jesus was and how accepting that gift can create in you an eternal peace that surpasses all understanding.