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Our Christmas Blessing and the Real Religion of Peace

Luke 2 tells us the familiar Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ:

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

Christmas9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 

Thus, for Christians, the New Testament story of the birth of Jesus fulfills Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy of the coming of the “Prince of Peace.” 

In fact in the Gospel of Luke the word “peace” appears 18 times, as many times as in the other three Gospels put together. (Depending upon which translation one chooses of course.) 

Peace is at the center of Luke’s telling of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as it is central to the universal message of Christianity – peace with one’s self, peace with one’s family and neighbors and most importantly, peace with God. 

Indeed “peace” is so central to the Christian message that the word occurs in Luke’s telling of both the birth of Jesus, and in Luke’s telling of his death and resurrection. 

As Luke 2:14 tells us that at the birth of Jesus the heavenly host proclaimed “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” so Luke in Chapter 24, verse 36 tells us when Christ appeared to the company on the third day after his Crucifixion, “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” 

In a very literal sense peace is at the beginning and at the end of Christ’s human journey on earth. 

Throughout the Gospels and the New Testament the word “peace” occurs 109 times; the direction to kill enemies or unbelievers?  

Not once. 

In these troubled times when Christians are being tested and when part of that test is parsing the truth from the multitude of lies about the moral equivalence between Christ’s message of peace and the violence and depravity of another “religion of peace” we urge you take to heart the certainty of the message of peace Christ bestowed upon us: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid

In these times of persecution and sacrifice we here at CHQ wish you the blessings of Christmas and the certainty of the peace of Jesus Christ.

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