Dear Immanuel family,
Over 2000 years ago, the silence of one Galilean night was shaddered when an angel appeared to the shepherds telling them of Jesus' birth. The sky was then filled with a multitude of angels saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14 NIV). Not all translations express the latter part of the verse like this. One commentary says, "God's peace is not given to those who have good will, but to those who are recipients of God's good will or favor." (John A Martin)
I think there is a longing among all followers of Jesus for this peace that the angels said would come as a result of Jesus' birth. During the holiday season we may find ourselves interacting with difficult family members, or be missing that special person for the first time, be feeling financial strain, or just be lonely. None of these will contribute to the feeling of being at peace. However, true peace "is based on the fact that the Spirit of our holy, omnipotent, and never-changing God lives within us." (Charles Stanley)
Certainly Jesus' life exemplified this peace. He said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful." (John 14:27) Jesus makes it clear that this world won't bring true peace. History and today's headlines have sure shown us that. Lord, would you help all of us to seek the true Peace on Earth that only comes from knowing and living for Jesus?
We trust that each of you will have a very Merry Christmas filled with special times with the ones you love. Don't forget the Christmas Eve Candlelight service which starts at 6:30pm with Michael Smith (Ed and Kay Lee's son-in-law) leading music and Pastor Warner sharing God's Word.