Peace on Earth. Goodwill Toward Men. Please!!
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)
Dear Cambridge Family & Friends,
The very first ‘vinyl’ 33 rpm album I ever owned, I got for Christmas. It was ‘Motown’s’ The Temptations Greatest Hits, Volume II. One of the popular songs from the album was the 1960’s hit "Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)." As I was reflecting back on the lyrics, it sadly donned on me that although much has changed, too much has remained the same (and I’m not talking about the fact that bell bottom trousers are about the hit the fashion runway again), Look at some of the descriptive lyrics regarding the situation in the 1960’s and see how many still resonate today.
"People moving out, people moving in - Why, because of the color of their skin. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Vote for me and I'll set you free. The only person talking about “Love thy brother” is the preacher, and it seems nobody's interested in learning but the teacher. Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation.
The sale of pills are at an all time high. Young folks walking round with their heads in the sky. Cities ablaze in the summer time. Fear in the air, tension everywhere. Unemployment rising fast. Eve of destruction, tax deduction, city inspectors, bill collectors, population out of hand, suicide, too many bills, people all over the world are shouting, end the war. So, round and around and around we go. Where the world's headed, nobody knows. Ball of confusion. That's what the world is today."
Many of the negative actions and ‘stinking thinking’ are still prevalent today, including, racial prejudice, incivility, declining church attendance and declining education, violent protests, divisive politics, substance abuse, suicide, socio-economic inequality, under & unemployment , horrors of war, etc. Add this to the recent list of man-made tragedies and at times the world seems like a hopeless place.
We can go back much further than the 1960’s to find lost, desperate and hopeless people. It was for that reason, that over 2,000 years ago God sent His Son Jesus to enter this world as a baby, live a sinless life, and then to give that life for you, me and all the other lost, desperate and hopeless people in the world. Luke’s Gospel records a ‘sky full’ of angels praising God for this miraculous gift and prophetically proclaiming, “on earth peace, good will toward men.”
One day the true meaning of Advent or ‘coming’ will occur when Jesus Christ returns and establishes a New Heaven and a New Earth. There will finally be peace on all the earth, and goodwill for all men who trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It may be tomorrow. It may be before one war ends or another begins. It may be another 2,000 years (although I sincerely doubt it). In the meantime, we who call ourselves Christians are charged to begin and engage in this prophetic act of doing whatever we can to bring ‘peace on earth,’ and ‘goodwill toward mankind.’ Although we are guaranteed the gift of eternal life, through the grace of God, and the sacrificial death of Jesus, we will be judged and rewarded for our acts and efforts to make peace and extend goodwill (i.e. love) to all. May this be the greatest gift we give, because of the greatest gift God gave – His one and only Son Jesus Christ. God bless and Merry Christmas!
In Christ alone,
Reverend A. Win Davis, Pastor
Cambridge Baptist Church