Only a fool prefers war to peace. And yet, our world remains marked by what seems to be an unending stream of conflict—national, social, and personal. Such tedious sets of circumstances can weigh down even the sturdiest among us. Our world needs to see another way. Christ’s birth lights that path.
The incarnation of Jesus provides an answer to the myriads of conflicts that scar our world. Hundreds of years prior to Jesus’s birth, the prophet Isaiah declared that a child would be born, a child we would know as the Prince of Peace. When Mary birthed Jesus into the world, the infant brought with Him a peace that surpasses all of our own best efforts at healing conflicts. On that first night of Jesus’s life, the angelic announcement echoed Isaiah’s expectation, declaring “on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14). The Prince of Peace truly dwelt among us.
Jesus’s entrance into our world by taking humanity upon Himself provided a way for peace between God and human beings (Romans 5:1). No longer would we be doomed to persistent rebellion against God. Rather, through Christ, we could live at peace with our Maker. But beyond pointing us to the right relations with God, the message of Jesus’s birth points us to the right relations with the rest of creation. Jesus taught on this in His Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Indeed, the call of the Incarnation prompts us toward the hard work of peacemaking. We are not at war with our fellow human beings but rather with principalities and powers in the celestial realm (Ephesians 6:12). May we leave warmongering language and conflict-oriented action behind as we seek, by the power of the Spirit, to make peace with humanity and with the entire created world a reality in our lives.