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Jesus - The PEACE of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In a stress-filled world, we have great need for PEACE

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Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9; Luke 19:28-40; Luke 2:8-15; Isaiah 26:3; Romans 15:13; Philippians 4:6-7;

Peace: the absence of hostility
Hebrew - שָׁלֹם shâlôm - prosperity, health, all is well
Greek - εἰρήνη ĕirēnē - quietness, rest
Q - What do people do when their lives are void of PEACE?
Spend money
Alcohol or Pills
Doing nothing
Spreading gossip
Q - Do you know how Alfred Bernard Nobel amassed his fortunes to establish the ongoing Nobel Peace Prize?
He invented Dynamite and other explosives. In 1867, at age 34, he received the patent for dynamite…and out of the wealth he accumulated over the next 29 years, he established the ongoing trust for the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. How ironic.
In summer of 1945, the 1st atomic bomb was created.
Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations 4292 Best Defense against Bomb

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, who supervised the creation of the first atomic bomb, appeared before a Congressional Committee. They inquired of him if there were any defense against the weapon. “Certainly,” the great physicist replied.

“And that is—”

Dr. Oppenheimer looked over the hushed, expectant audience and said softly: “Peace.”

How Does This Apply?

Peace is mentioned throughout Scripture around 150 times. And there are symbols we equate with peace. I’m not talking about the “peace” sign of the 60’s or even the popular 2 fingers held up.
We know of the DOVE, the Olive Branch…did you know that a donkey represents peace in Scripture? No joke. And interestingly enough, Zachariah prophesies that the King is coming. He is righteous and He is humble. He is riding on a colt of a donkey. The donkey was not an animal that symbolized war or victory; it was a symbol of peace.
This peace is not an absence of trials or struggles in life. It is a peace that brings contentment and joy to life, regardless of the circumstances.
Zechariah 9:9 NIV
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
In Luke 19:28-40, the donkey of peace comes into play again. We usually tell this story on Palm Sunday, but it applies to the Peace of Christ throughout the year. (Have someone read this…)
We’ve heard the declaration, “Peace…and glory in the highest” before…I believe the Angels sang this back in Luke 2. We even sang about this earlier in “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
Luke 2:8–15 NIV
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
Wow! The angels declared, “Glory to God in the highest & peace on earth...” Oh that we could give glory to God in all things. That we would experience His great peace in all things.
Getting back to the donkey. Ladies, remember how uncomfortable you were at times during your pregnancy? Sometimes more than others. Now, put yourself in Mary’s sandles (smile)…you know she had to be uncomfortable, riding on the back of a donkey, probably just a thin blanket at best between her and the creature.
Riding, what historians suggest to be around 100 miles over a week’s time. Do you think Mary was filled with peace. Then to arrive in town and not be able to find an available bed…and have to stay with the animals. I’m sure it smelled lovely. Don’t you think you’ve be a little tense?
But most parents can tell you, there’s just something about the birth of their firstborn. As anxious and stressful as the moments are leading up to the birth, there’s just something unexplainable about the moments after. Peace overcomes you.
And don’t you know, that in Mary & Joseph’s case, the peace of God definitely overcame them at the birth of Jesus Christ, the foretold Savior of the World. This Christmas season, can we allow Christ to bring PEACE to us amidst all the chaos of what our culture has made it to be. Let’s focus on HIM.
Isaiah 26:3 HCSB
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.
The prophet tells us that there is perfect PEACE for those who keep focused on the only ONE Who can give true peace. That’s why Jesus was born. The Father sent Him to the manger to bring PEACE. Each time we begin to feel tension or frustration, we need to set our mind on Christ and experience the blessing of HIS PEACE.
The same is repeated in Romans by Paul in the form of a blessing:
Romans 15:13 NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And then he tells the people of Philippi about the possibility of PEACE as well.
Philippians 4:6–7 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What Now

Let’s focus on the goodness of Christ, the HOPE of His coming, the beauty of His sacrifice, the majesty of His Father and the power of His Spirit. Let’s Savor His salvation and ponder His PEACE.
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