Christmas Eve Service - 2016

We have looked at Isa 9:6 over the last four Sundays - Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.  The names of the Messiah give us a glimpse into his character and abilities.  He was to become not only a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem, but a King whose government and peace would never end.  Justice and righteousness would be the foundation of his kingdom.  This Kingdom were are told is not of this world but a heavenly kingdom that would intersect the kingdoms of this world.  The last Sunday of Advent we looked at the Prince of Peace and how the Messiah would come and establish peace on earth.  However, this peace is a spiritual peace giving us hope for the future.  

 

Let me tell you a story.  On April 15, 1914 the unthinkable happened, the unsinkable Titanic sank.  In July and August of the same year, the nations of Europe declared war one against another marking the beginning of World War 1. It was called “The War to End all Wars,” or “The Great War.”

Every Christmas I am inspired by The Christmas Truce.  This was a series of widespread but, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas of 1914, during WW1.  During the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and traditional Christmas carols between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into "No man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing.  Why did opposing soldiers who were fighting to the death engage in the Christmas Truce of 1914?  They had hope for a better life in light of the Prince of Peace.  

Video - The Christmas Truce

 

Over a hundred years later, we are still looking for peace.  The “War to end all wars” did not deliver peace.  Wars have only became worse.  We are still in the midst of wars and rumours of war, economic collapse, fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria.  Persecution of believers in the Middle East has been brutal.

 

Can there be peace?  World Peace - NO!  Peace through Jesus Christ - YES!  “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19–20, ESV)  

“Peace on earth” was announced by the angels to Judean shepherds some 2000 years ago. However, peace on earth is as elusive today as it was then. Did Christ then fail in his mission in coming to earth?

The answer is NO!  We must remind ourselves that the baby born in a manger in Bethlehem was only the beginning.  It is part one of a two part story.  Christ’s work of redemption was completed through his birth in Bethlehem and his life, death and resurrection.  But his complete work still awaits completion that will take place during the Second Advent - his Second Coming.

Mary Did You Know Video

 

This Christmas we celebrate our Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace.  We worship him in Spirit and Truth while praying “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” as we look forward to our Messiah Jesus Christ coming again…  Amen!