Interviewer: Good evening everyone. Well, as advertised, we are here tonight for an exclusive interview with the, er, so-called Prince of Peace.
Welcome Prince. Many who have been eagerly anticipating this program wish to hear whether you have any relevant input into current affairs, so let’s get straight into the nitty gritty if you don’t mind.
Much of the world is currently celebrating the festive season of Christmas, a season initially established by the promise of ‘peace on earth, good will to all’. But anyone taking just a cursory glance around the world at this time would understandably be sceptical of such a statement. Peace and good will are clearly in short supply in these turbulent days. So where is this peace that was promised in your name, or was the promise just so much fairy dust as many of us suspect?
Prince: The peace that was promised to humanity has not been withheld, it is within reach of each one who genuinely seeks it. The peace of which I speak is a true and lasting peace which will never be found around a conference table or engraved on the pages of a treaty. This peace must first be born within individuals. The peace you all say you long for will only come as one member of the human race discovers and embraces it, passes it to the next, and then on to another, and so on. In this way only can there be true and lasting peace on earth.
By the way, the passage you quoted was incomplete. The message recorded by my servant Luke is this: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’¹ People have a way of forgetting the first few words.
Interviewer: But surely that’s too simplistic a view. The earth has multitudes of diverse communities, cultures and nations with different political aspirations, complicated histories and competing territorial claims. Some conflicts have their roots in events that happened centuries ago. These things are not easily or quickly settled, surely?
Prince: Ah, but do you desire absence of conflict, or do you desire peace?
Interviewer: Er, say again please?
Prince: The conflicts and hostility plaguing the nations of the world are the result of fear, ambition and pride buried deep within the hearts of individuals. There can be no peace between nations until there is peace within the hearts of individual men and women. The peace I offer is peace between God and humanity. Without this first and crucial factor, no other form of peace is achievable on earth. Outward peace can flow only from peace within.
For countless generations humanity has believed a lie concerning peace. The lie is that peace is achievable by the absence of conflict, and therefore the only way to ensure peace is to subdue conflict and opposition through military might and political power.
Even your word ‘peacekeepers’ attests to this deception, because you believe peace is a fragile status that, once won, must be steadfastly maintained, or kept by force.
But peace is not simply the absence of conflict; it is much more. Peace is the Presence and the reign of the Prince of Peace and His kingdom. My kingdom has no need of peacekeepers. Instead I have appointed peacemakers who carry my unique message of peace on earth and sow it into the lives of people, tribes, cultures and nations.
Interviewer: But how can you suggest such a thing when even among your own people, those who call themselves by your name, there is conflict, dissension and very obvious disunity? Where is the evidence of your reign among them?
Prince: There is abundant evidence but only those with hearts that seek truth may see it. Wherever human beings receive and celebrate my kingdom peace will be manifested one to another. When peace is not manifested between my followers, it is because there remain pockets of territory in those individuals where my reign has not yet been fully received by them. This is not evidence of the absence of peace. It is evidence of the yet unfinished journey within individuals.
Even where there is disagreement among my people, peace can prevail because peace always comes hand in hand with humility. Peace is not the fruit of unity. Unity is the fruit of peace.
Interviewer: Hmm, let’s move on shall we Prince? What about families? Many people report that they find this Christmas season a period of great stress and anxiety when long-standing tensions between family members can surface, sometimes with very unhappy and lasting results. Isn’t the festive season supposed to be a time of love and harmony among families? What do you say to that? Why is there not more of the Christmas spirit we hear so much about?
Prince: The reason you hear so much about the Christmas spirit is because humanity still loves darkness more than light², but you do not hear about it from me. The christmas spirit does not originate with me and has nothing to do with my kingdom. I’d refer you to my defeated adversary, the prince of the power of the air³, for further discussion on that one.
However, to answer the rest of your question, I am well aware of the weight of stress and worry that many experience, emotionally, physically and financially, due to the high expectations associated with these festivities. Disappointment and hardness of heart arise because people are striving in this season to experience something that is a well-crafted illusion. You have turned a celebration that was originally simple and holy into a marathon of frantic performance and self-indulgence, followed quickly by disappointment, weariness and emptiness. Human souls were created for far better than this.
The peace I offer is not limited to this man-made season, to disappear again once you put away your trees and tinsel. The peace I offer is timeless, constant and restful. It is altogether unfamiliar in this world.
The truth is that human relationships can only be healed as the relationship between God and each individual is healed. Reconciliation begins between an individual and God, and then flows outward. It was God reconciling humanity to Himself that gave humans their first Christmas.
There is no Christmas magic. Such is the fabrication of Hollywood movie makers and others with vested interests in manipulating humanity for commercial gain.
But there was, and is, and forever will be the Christmas miracle.
Peace and goodwill has penetrated and defeated the darkness. The way home for all people who seek to be reconciled to God and to one another is forever opened. The invitation is extended to every individual on the face of the earth.
Peace on earth is God dwelling with man. Any other kind of peace is unsustainable.
I thank you for your attention this evening.
Interviewer: No Prince, thank You…. er….Your Majesty!
‘I leave you peace. It is my own peace I give you. I give you peace in a different way than the world does. So don’t be troubled. Don’t be afraid.’ – Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace
¹Luke 2:14 NASB
© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2017. Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included. To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.