Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Angel Mosaic, Bethlehem, Israel
There is a field just east of Bethlehem in this war ravaged region that is the hallowed ground of a momentous announcement. It is where an angel of the Lord and a heavenly host of angels announced the arrival of a Savior for the world. Isaiah prophesied that this child would lead the wolf to live with the lamb. It’s important to note that this message was not delivered to kings and religious leaders, but to one of the lowest classes of the time—shepherds who were watching over their flocks on one very significant starry night. The world of that generation was filled with hate and war and the people of the region were anxiously awaiting a warrior king to bring peace to their lives.
They received the Prince of Peace. The mystery of this miracle was that the Creator entered his creation wrapped in human flesh as a present to all mankind. The angel told the shepherds not to be afraid for he was announcing good news. And then a host of angels sang:
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
As I walked this land in February, I couldn’t help but wonder why we still had not achieved that peace which was promised over two thousand years ago. As an adult, Jesus gave men a simple formula for peace—love God and love your neighbor. And He left mankind with a way of living through his teachings and model that can restore peace in the world.
People at the birth of Christ and people today expect him to save us from our enemies, but he came to deliver all of us from ourselves. And on that fateful night we were sent an ally to walk with us as we exercise our free will to do something actionable about the hate and darkness in this world we were given stewardship over. Darkness and hate were not eliminated that night in this field, but light and love were sent to checkmate them.
MAY THE PEACE OF CHRISTMAS ABIDE WITH YOU ALL THOUGH THE NEW YEAR!