The Prince of Peace
Nobody knows exactly how much the average Canadian family spends on Christmas gifts. In Ontario alone, the December retail figures climb by millions and creditors do a booming business. It is estimated that as much as 50 per cent of Christmas gift buying is done on credit. People seem to be spending more money than ever before these days on things like power tools, stereo sets, expensive toys, sporting and skiing equipment and even cars for kids. Like every other year, people are on a frantic search for suitable gifts.
Christmas. The season of the harried shopper, the jingling music of the cash register, the hymns and songs ranging from Away in the Manger to Santa Claus is Coming to Town. But the gift that really matters will never be found in anyone's mailbox or under a Christmas tree. And it cannot be bought with money!
Christmas! God sent His Son into a world of desperation. Jesus Christ was sent as God's answer to man's need. Therefore, we direct you to the manger. There is hope and peace to be found. It seems absurd to direct anyone in this age of power politics and moon flights to a manger in a stable to find a solution for global and personal problems. Is it ridiculous? Not when we realize that this humble birth place was necessary. Christ came to deliver us from the bankruptcy of sin and to make us rich towards God.
Right now the eyes of the world are still looking toward the United Nations, Moscow, Washington and Peking as we hope and pray for an end to the tragedies in India, Pakistan, Vietnam. But "hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." May God subdue the pride and greed of nations and may their leaders turn their thoughts to Bethlehem. Only the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, can bring peace that is lasting. True peace will elude us and wars will go on if men do not seek Christ. True peace - Is that the peace among the nations of the earth which political leaders talk about today? No. It is far more! It is the peace of man becoming one with God, the state of rest and happiness that results from it. Christ "made peace through the blood of His cross." We can have peace only when we have been declared right with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
If men everywhere turn to Christ then we would begin to observe peace among the nations of the world. When you are at peace with God, you can live in peace with others. Sir Douglas Haig, commander of British forces in France during World War I, once told a group of ministers in Scotland: "It is your business to put my business out of business." True, this is the business of ministers but also of every single believer who hails Christ as the Prince of Peace.
Come everyone and let us go together to Bethlehem to worship the Lord who is God's gift to a broken world.
"Joy to the world. The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room."
Johan D. Tangelder