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Peace at last

Peace at last

Something to read

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

- Luke 2:8-12.

Something to think about

I wonder what threatens to disturb your peace today. The uneasy dynamics of extended family? A turkey too big for the oven? Or perhaps grief, loneliness, and other hard feelings that Christmas can amplify.

For the shepherds on a Bethlehem hillside, it wasn’t only shining angels that disturbed their peace. Living under Roman occupation, they must have been well used to sleeping with one eye open. The baby born in their little town might not have immediately changed their circumstances, but a Messiah laid in a manger was undoubtedly good news. The promised one had arrived, and the first thing that the shepherds knew about him was that he had come very close; not hidden behind the walls of a palace, but right where they could find him. The peace that he would bring, would certainly be for them.

However frantic or fun your Christmas might be, however festive or forlorn you’re feeling, I pray that we will, like the shepherds, rest a little easier tonight with the assurance that the peace of Christ is truly for the likes of us. 

Something to pray

Thank you, Jesus, that you promised to give us your peace. I pray today for a just peace in every area of conflict in our world, and peace in my own life this Christmas. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones