Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night
Son of God, oh, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Amy Charmichael, “Acceptance of my circumstances, the first step in obtaining joy and peace, begins with faith. I would have no reason simply to accept the awful things that happen if I had no idea that Somebody was governing this world and that my individual life was completely under the control of One who possesses perfect wisdom, perfect justice, and perfect love.”
John 14:27, “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.”
Heavenly peace, perfect peace, other-worldly peace: Yes, I’d like some of that, please! To put it mildly, our world is in chaos. Viruses lurk around every corner, businesses are failing, freedoms are being stripped from our lives, and we just want everyone to chill! We want peace!
What does Jesus mean when He says, “not as the world gives [peace]”? What kind of peace does the world give? “Peace, Love, and Happiness” Peace Out, Man! Peace train? “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me?” I see a picture of a VW van painted with psychedelic swirls and ‘60s music blaring from the worn-out speakers. Temporary moments of calm and quiet reflection are all we can hope for when we look to the world for peace.
Jesus is offering something way different and way better. Uninterrupted, freely given, deep down, all-encompassing peace. Peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Peace that quiets the soul and puts it to rest, not because of some outward calm but because we know that “Somebody [is] governing this world”; Someone with “perfect wisdom, perfect justice, and perfect love.”
The kind of peace that Jesus Christ brought when He came as that babe in that manger is true peace. It is unshakeable because we believe in an unshakable, unchanging God. Our simple act of faith in who Christ is and what He accomplished for us is the only ticket we need to obtain this peace.
Heavenly peace, love’s pure light, was given to us at the dawn of redeeming grace. Embrace it. Let it engulf you in waves of tender mercy. Let it calm your storms because you know this “Somebody” who is lovingly in charge of it all!