In the world’s view peace is the absence of violence. I’m afraid that throughout our human history there really hasn’t been peace. Just look at our crazy world today. In the world’s view peace is external or outside ourselves and other people and events can ruin our peace. In the Spiritual realm peace is internal. It really doesn’t matter what is happening on the outside.

So hopefully I have us thinking now. Let’s think a little more deeply about that elusive thing we call peace. Remember the peace that is authentic and genuine is an inward way of being. The world cannot give us this peace. The only source is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The same Jesus whose birth we celebrate from some two thousand plus years ago. The same Jesus who tells us over and over again not to be afraid. He says He will go before us and always be with us till the end of the ages. The same Jesus who told the Disciples over and over PEACE BE WITH YOU: MY PEACE I GIVE YOU! The peace that passeth all human understanding. That peace of mind and soul that only comes from God.

So maybe the greatest gift to pray for is Peace! Maybe our greatest gift could be bringing peace to ourselves and families and churches and workplaces. The gift of staying calm when everyone and everything around us is falling apart. The Baby King brought this gift to Palestine and the world a long time ago. Luke’s birth narrative goes like this. Caesar Augustus decreed that the whole Roman Empire would be counted in a census. Jesus’ earthly father Joseph took Mary , who was pregnant to Bethlehem. While they were there Mary gave birth to her first born son and they called him Jesus. She placed the baby into a manger since there was no place for them in the Inn. I wonder if we have room for the Holy Family in our hearts tonight? Or are our hearts full of worry and fear.

The angel appeared to the shepherds while keeping watch over their flocks. Remember shepherds were a rough bunch. I wonder why the angel didn’t visit kings and temple leaders and rich people. The angel told them DON’T BE AFRAID! I bring you GOOD NEWS that will bring GREAT JOY for ALL PEOPLE! For today is born to you in the city of David, the Messiah who is Christ the Lord! And the angel was joined by the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and on earth PEACE to those on whom His favor rests.” And this huge army of angels brought the message of Hope and Love and PEACE of the Baby King’s birth. A very Blessed and Peaceful Christmas to all! AMEN!