Jesus was born to bring peace – so where is it?

The reason Jesus was born was to announce to “all people” the “good tidings of great joy” that peace on earth had begun (Luke 2:10-14).

But experience since has taught us that peace can only be obtained by war, which most Christians have endorsed as well, having gone to war in their millions to create peace. But is that what Jesus meant for us to do, as his way of creating peace?

Well, yes, some might say, because in John 15:13 he said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” So surely it’s the right thing to do for Dads, husbands, sons and brothers to willingly become cannon fodder. But it begs the question, “How does being cannon fodder create peace” when it also creates devastating grief and financial hardship for those men’s families back home, and terrible heartache for their wives and mothers, who may never be able to forgive their menfolk for letting propaganda rule their emotions and drag them off to war.

But didn’t Jesus sacrifice his life to create peace? Oh yes, but only because the sacrifice of his life was the ONLY way evil could be stopped. But what was the rest of his life about?

It was also about “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” but in the sense of laying down every living moment of his life for us, too.

And that part of his life was just as important as his death, because it laid out the pattern for how “peace on earth” happens. It’s in laying down one’s entire life for others. It’s a life-time of unselfishness, of always being aware of the needs of others, and of laying aside our own wants when we realize we have talents and gifts that can really help others. And that’s the way God created us too. He gave us all gifts that enable us to be helpful to others (1 Corinthians 12:6-11), because that’s how peace works (verse 25).

Most of us will never be faced with having to risk our lives to save someone from death, but every day peace happens when we “lay down” what gifts God has given us to the service and benefit of others. And a living sacrifice is far more valuable than a dead one, because it keeps on giving.

So what if everybody believed that this was Jesus’ way of creating peace, that we follow the example of his life, every moment of which he “laid down” or sacrificed for others? Because that’s where peace can be found – in those who do believe it.

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