25th Dec 2022 – Minister’s letter – Is peace a product of hard work, or a gift?
Happy Christmas! It’s the season of peace and goodwill. But what do we mean by this? Often when speaking this way we mean peace and goodwill in the political sense. Thus the President of Ukraine suggested “It would be right this Christmas to start the withdrawal of Russian troops”. Russia responded that there will be no Christmas ceasefire.
But the peace brought by Jesus is not political, rather he came to reconcile us to God (Rom 5:10, Col 1:20, 2 Cor 5:18). Those experiencing divine reconciliation will then seek to pursue peace among their brothers and sisters. Thus, while Christ’s peace is God-focused, there should be a flow-on effect as we echo God’s actions towards us among our neighbours.
There is another distinction. In his Christmas message, my local MP reflected that in geo-politics, “maintaining peace and stability requires constant work and effort”. Yet peace with God is a gift from Jesus (John 14:27), requiring our acceptance and a God-given willingness to repent of our sins. That we enjoy a secure peace with God is a great reason to celebrate Christ’s birth! We’re so glad you could join us today.