And he [Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Eph. 2:17–18
Lord Jesus, what is Christmas? It is you coming near to us, sabotaging the illusion of our self-righteousness, taking on the guilt of our sin, and shattering the power of our shame. The words “Thank you” are woefully inadequate to communicate the greatness of our gratitude.
You are the Peacemaker of all peacemakers, Jesus, for you, yourself, are our peace. On the cross, you exhausted God’s judgment against our sin. We now live under this grand declaration, “No condemnation for your sin remains” (Rom. 8:1).
And now, robed in your righteousness, we robustly sing, “His banner over me is love!” (Song of Songs 2:4). Jesus, by your Word and Spirit, keep blasting our hearts with this soul-liberating truth. We’re such an unbelieving people.
But, Jesus, you also bring peace to us as participants in a vast array of “peace-less” relationships, broken storylines, and messy situations. You call us to live at peace with all people—as far as it depends on us. And when peace with others isn’t possible, you promise to give us peace-full hearts. Thank you, Lord Jesus. You don’t promise to give us storm-less lives. But you do promise never to give us a Christ-absent day.
You destroy all kinds of hostilities and reconcile all kinds of people. There’s no relationship either beyond the reach of your grace, or beyond the need of your grace. Forgive us for perpetuating bruised, distanced, chilly relationships.
Glorious Prince of Peace, one Day will reconcile wolves and lambs, leopards and goats, calves and lions. Until that Day, give us the desire, humility, and grace to be peace-seekers and peace-makers. Free us to live as agents of your reconciling love, even before the 2019 arrives. So very Amen we pray, in your peerless and peace-full name.