December 19, 2021

Christmas Message 2021: The Hope of Peace

Christmas Message 2021: The Hope of Peace

Tim Nicholls

3 Minute Read

Many of us know the pain of fractured relationship all too well. We’ve just been through another difficult year of Covid-19 that has been full of social isolation. For months many of us were unable to meet with our loved ones due to border closures and social distancing. Even this Christmas, some of us may again have to spend it apart from our loved ones. However, our fractured relationships have not just been caused by social isolation, but by painful conflict. The Department of Statistics declared that over 78,000 marriages ended in divorce during the first 18 months of the pandemic. The stresses of the pandemic have destroyed marriages, and they have also broken friendships, divided churches, and strained workplaces. As we approach this Christmas, we long for peace.

The Bible tells us that our broken relationships with one another are caused by a deeper fracture in our relationship with God. We’ve all sinned, by rejecting God as the rightful ruler of our lives. We’ve all failed to obey and love him with all our heart. Our sin is not only the root cause of all our broken relationships with one another, but it is the reason our world is in decay. We live in a world of sickness and death under the judgment of God. It’s all a stark warning that unless our sin is dealt with, we will spend eternity isolated from God and his blessing, suffering the punishment of hell.

But the good news of Christmas is that Jesus Christ came to bring peace: peace with God and peace with one another. The prophet Isaiah describes Jesus as the “Prince of Peace”, who would establish and rule over God’s eternal Kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7). As Jesus is born, the angels praised God saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

~ Luke 2:14

Jesus was given his name because he came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He would do that by living the perfect life we have not lived, and dying the death we deserve, taking the punishment for our sins (1 Peter 3:18). His death meant we could have peace with God (Ephesians 2:14), no longer his enemies, but now reconciled with him (Ephesians 2:16). But God’s purpose at the cross was not only to reconcile us to God, but to reconcile us to one another, putting an end to the hatred and hostility that so often divides us (Ephesians 2:15-16). As those saved by the blood of Christ, we can now be brothers and sisters in God’s family (Ephesians 2:19), heirs together of eternal life.

That is why Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Because he came to bring true peace with God, and peace with one another. The coming of Christ means that we may not only enjoy reconciled relationship with God now, but we can look forward with hope to the day we will be with God in his new creation. When Christ rose again, he conquered death forever, and established God’s eternal Kingdom, where God’s people will no longer be separated by sickness or sin or death. When Jesus returns and the new creation dawns, our fractured relationships with God and one another will be healed fully and forever. We’ll never have to suffer the pain of social isolation or bitter conflict again. Instead, we’ll join the angels, together singing “Glory to God in the highest” because of the peace he has brought us through his Son. So, if you long for peace this Christmas, will you come to Christ in faith and begin to experience the peace that he came to bring?

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Originally from Australia, Tim Nicholls came to know Christ as a child, before maturing in his faith during his university years. Tim now lives in Malaysia and serves as a Pastor at St George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown, Penang. Tim is married to Siew Mun and they have four children. Tim loves Malaysian food, the hot tropical weather, and is learning to speak BM and Mandarin! But most of all he loves Jesus, and is passionate about seeing people from all nations and all stages of life come to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour and joyfully live for his glory.

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