Good Friday to You,
I love a good hands-on project! With five kids and a growing church, we don’t have as much time for them as we once did, but in the past we have tackled some big ones! For instance, we completed a large portion of the labor needed to build our home (with the help of some great friends).
One Saturday morning during construction, I took a quick break and grabbed a drink of my Diet Mountain Dew. The shooting pain revealed one obvious truth: This little sore in my mouth was not going away. What I had considered a painful annoyance was actually the herald of a far more frightening reality. That “little sore” turned out to be a cancerous lesion on the right side of my tongue.
I remember several stages in my cancer journey:
Ignorance – This sore will go away.
Quick Fix – Ralph (my doctor) will prescribe something to fix it.
Denial – No way do I have cancer.
Expectation – God is going to supernaturally remove it.
Peace – I have cancer and I’m going to trust God come what may.
I hear people use the phrase “make peace with God” from time to time. For some, this means a person made some kind of life decision and is now convinced God has given them His blessing; “God and I have come to an understanding.” For others, “make peace with God” actually means “God knows my heart.” This is when an individual claims that intentions are more important than actions. They believe no matter what we do or fail to do, we have peace with God as long as we had good intentions. I’m left asking, “Are these really examples of making peace with God?”
Soon after I was diagnosed with cancer, I would have told you that I made peace with it by accepting my situation. I may have even said that I had made peace with God about it, choosing to trust Him come what may. But did I really make peace with God? Can any of us truly make peace with God?
Peace Has Come
To the shepherds, the angels magnificently declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” That angelic multitude glorified God for bringing peace here on earth. Peace to a world broken by sin! Peace to the souls of men longing for salvation! Jesus was doing so much more than endorsing our decisions or knowing our good intentions when he was born of a virgin and laid in a manger.
Jesus came to offer us peace from God! This is a peace we could never offer to God.
This weekend, we’re going to talk about how Jesus came to offer peace from God to us. You can’t offer it to God, but you sure can know when God has offered it to you! We will be reading the entire Christmas Day story found in Luke 2:1-20. Expect to spend much of our time focusing on the angelic announcement of the peace offered us (verse 14).
Hope you join us for Christmas!