Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pastor's Christmas Letter: Be The Peace on Earth

Scripture readings: 2 Corinthians 5:1-17 and Luke 2:1-20

Dear Friends
So many kids who are my friends are suddenly turning 60 years old. So I wonder if I am getting old like they are. I have to remind myself that I am not. I am brand new. So are they. Well, we are all new in Jesus. Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Because of this Paul can also say, “So from now we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” (2 Corinthians 5:16)

This sheds light on Christmas: God becoming human in Christ. Christmas is the start of the new creation. The angels’ song about “peace on earth good will toward men” (Luke 2:14) is all about a new creation.

Of course the manger was only the beginning; barely the beginning of the beginning. Jesus had to grow up fulfilling our human life, then offering himself for us on the cross, then rising from the dead and taking his place on the throne (and all this to conquer the world, and sin, and death, and the devil). The work is still in the making. It has only begun in you and me.

Peace is not something that is just given to you. True peace, as God intends, is what we call “interactive”. Peace is how we interact; with God, our families, our congregations, our communities, and our world. And peace is about being peacemakers.
Paul says, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view…” (2 Corinthians 5:15-16)

So are you looking at your spouse, your family, the members of your church, and the members of your community from God’s point of view, or from your own? Are you being God’s instrument of peace on earth? Even in your own internal conflicts and struggles, are you looking for peace on your own terms, or are you willing to work for inner peace on God’s terms?

God’s peace will make you new and change you into an agent of his peace and reconciliation. Our families, churches, and communities need this. They need us to be the Christians we claim to be by letting God stop us from being what we are, on our own, and make us different.

Let this peace on earth be in Adams County. And may this peace be in you, and may you be a bringer “of peace on earth, good will toward men.” Let Jesus be born in you. Be new. Live as the new creation of the true Christmas peace.

1 comment:

  1. Pastor Dennis, thank you so much for this inspirational Christmas letter.
    May God shower his choicest blessings on you and yours this Christmas.
    I also thank you for your wonderful, encouraging comments on my blog. They brightened my day!
    Loved reading them! Always good to hear from you. :)

    Sending the warmest Christmas wishes to you and your family.

    Merry Christmas!