“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”” (Luke 2:13–14 NIV11)
The powers have no game (see previous posts) meaning that we are rolling toward that great peace (shalom) of God. It is a movement toward the grand final shalom. A shalom that is assured with every victory of Jesus. This tremendous final peace is the grand final promise of peace that holds us.
Promises Hold Us
Throughout our lives, promises hold us.
- The promise made to a person at the altar holds two people together sickness and in health, in riches and poverty until death do they part.
- Promises made to children when we sprinkle water on them hold them as the years go on, and we raise them to be passionate followers of Jesus.
- Promises are those things that hold us and hold our world together. When promises are broken, the world starts to come apart.
The promise of God is his promise to bring peace/shalom. It is a promise that holds us.
Promises at Christmas
During this Christmas season
- If you head into a family filled with brokenness or a family that’s been captured by sorrow during that past year, it is the promise of God’s peace that holds you.
- If you are worried about your financial future, about the insanity of the markets,
- If you are worried about nations that take up war against nations, about civil wars, it is the promise of God’s peace that holds you.
- If your life is broken, if sin has overwhelmed you if you believe you can never get it right, can never find forgiveness for what you have done, the promise of peace to all who believe in Jesus Christ holds you
- If you are longing for God’s shalom, want to work to bring that peace, it is also the promise of that peace that empowers you to go forward. That peace holds us when we sacrifice time, energy, resources to make this world more beautiful, more just, a better place to live in, a place more secure for the most vulnerable among us.
God’s promises hold us and empower us because we can look down the road to the final truth of things; we can see that finally, God brings his shalom.
It is like our willingness to travel long distances by plane, train, or car at Christmas. Those travels can be stressful, exhausting, but we endure them because at the other end lies the promise of embracing people we love and joining with them in celebration. For that, we cannot only travel, but we can also find patience and joy in the travel because of what is on the other side. When we keep in our vision the shalom of God that is at the end of our journey, the end of the journey of the world, the promise of that peace holds us in and empowers us as we make our way through life.
Keeping God’s Promises Before Us
In this Christmas season, one thought is how to keep God’s promise of peace before us, so we are held in the tough times and empowered to pursue his full-orbed peace today. Over these next few weeks, as you watch football games, hockey games, watch some contest, and the Game comes to an end when it ends, remember that the team that won will also lose one day if it hasn’t already. But Jesus has won and will win every victory, so his promise is sure.
Game On, Game Over
On Christmas, the angel army of God declares “Game on,” on the cross, Jesus declares “Game over.” Game on, Game over. Four words that capture our hope this Christmas.