THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBILITY -- God enters into our mess
There’s a story about a an old Jewish man who would get up at the break of dawn and go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem (also called “the Wailing Wall”), and he would pray fervently from morning to evening. One day, a journalist from the London Times, who’d observed him do this day after day, asked him: “You come every day to the wall. How long have you done this and what are you praying for?”
The old man replied, “I have come here to pray every day for 25 years. I pray for peace and reconciliation among the people of this land who are so divided by hate and conflict.”
The journalist was amazed. “How does it make you feel to come here every day for 25 years and pray for these things when so much conflict remains?” she asked. The old man looked at her sadly. “Like I’m talking to a wall.”
Every year, around this time, we hear beloved Christmas carols about “peace on earth and good will to men.” We sing “Silent Night, all is calm and all is bright.” And it’s beautiful. But if the angels were truly declaring peace on earth…… then where is it?
We look at the world around us and we see all the unrest, violence, pain and brokenness. We see the deep divisions across our country, in our own community, in our workplace, maybe even in our own family. The walls that divide us are so strong…so strong. And we wonder… Is peace really possible?
We hear about wars and uprisings all over the world and we always hear about peace treaties….. made and broken, for thousands of years… The term “world peace” could almost be considered an oxymoron.
And we look within ourselves, and maybe we find the restlessness in our own hearts, the ache, the longing for something more, for our lives to be well and whole. Is peace really possible?
The world is not the way it’s supposed to be, our lives are not the way they’re supposed to be. God had something else in mind when He went about creating the world and everything in it. A vision for peace, for wholeness and unity. A right relationship with God, right relationship with others, right relationship with all of creation.
But sin made a mess of things, disrupted this peace, fractured the relationships. And up went the walls. Walls all around us; walls between us; walls within us.
But God refuses to leave the world a mess, fractured and broken. God refuses to have a world with so many walls, so many divisions.
So what does He do? God enters into the mess, the darkness, the brokenness. God comes to be with us among all the walls, intending to break down the walls and restore His peace.
The prophet Isaiah prophesies about it. He talks about a child who will be a light in the darkness. A Messiah, a Savior, who will come to draw the world back together, draw people back to God, usher in God’s peace for all people, for all the nations.
He has a name…Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And He has a face, the scrunched up, ruddy face of an infant—so helpless and vulnerable, born in poverty, in a bed of straw, to a teenage mom and her fiancé. And He is bringing another kingdom, where righteousness and justice meet in peace.
A peace that is not just the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, love, beauty, goodness, wholeness. A peace in which the walls come down, and we can finally be at peace with God—forgiven and reconciled to Him, put back in right relationship. Peace with God, because our sins are forgiven.
And we can experience peace with one another—overcome our divisions and move toward one another in love and understanding. Peace with each other, because vengeance is removed with the knowledge of a just God, peace regardless of offenses against us.
Peace within our hearts, regardless of the situations we face, because the Lord promised us in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” The peace of God, which transcends all understanding.
Yes, my friends, through wars and rumors of wars, through uproar and turmoil, through pain and suffering…WE CAN HAVE PEACE…. Because of this baby born more than 2000 years ago…. The day that Christ Jesus came to earth, peace came unto all the world.
This child makes this peace which seems impossible… possible! The “impossible possibility”—a God who is able to do what we, in our own striving and effort—cannot do. This child who would grow up into a man, fully God and fully human, and who would lay down his life in a sacrifice of love. Only to bust forth from the tomb three days later and be crowned Lord of all. The impossible possibility.
You see, peace is not some government rule or order that stops all wars and terrorism…Peace is not some drug or yoga technique that cures all anxiety and fear… Peace comes from faith in our Savior Christ Jesus, which allows us to say, “All is well, no matter what.” Peace comes from knowing we are loved of God and forgiven.
The question for you today is… do YOU have that peace?
If you want to have the kind of peace the angels sang about, then you can invite Christ, the Prince of Peace, to come into your life and wash away all your fears. Invite Him into your heart as your Savior who died for the forgiveness of your sins so you could be at peace with God. That’s why Christmas day, that’s why He was born more than 2000 years ago.