"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

December 30, 2018

Our advent series will wrap up this Sunday with a fifth reason for which Jesus was born. He was born to reconcile enemies (Ephesians 2:11-22).

“Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Eph. 2:13-16).”

Not only was Jesus born to make peace with God – whom we’ve made our enemy because of our sin – but to kill the hostility our sin creates with others. When we look at the anger and violence and hostility our world is filled with, this seems impossible. We may feel like the stanza from I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day:

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

But the cross has the power to make peace where we might least expect it. Jesus can make the fiercest of enemies family of God at the foot of the cross. The final stanza of that carol proclaims our great hope.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
the Wrong shall fail,
the Right prevail,
with peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Erik Thoennes will be home from his sabbatical to preach this Sunday and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? Pray that those who have not yet made peace with God through faith in Christ would do so this week! Pray that the peace of Christ would rule in our hearts, to which indeed we were called in one body (Col. 3:15). Pray that God would make us agents of peace in a hostile and angry world.

See you Sunday!

 

Advent Song Link of the Week:
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Steven Curtis Chapman)

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll’d along th’ unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

In despair I bow’d my head,
There is no peace on earth, I said,
For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep,
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.

Peace on earth, good will to men.
Peace on earth, good will to men.
Good will to men.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Peace on earth, good will to men.

Categories: Sermon Prep (LM)