Across the Pastor’s Desk: Give gifts of peace, goodwill all year
Published 8:00 pm Friday, December 10, 2021
Across the Pastor’s Desk by George Marin
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” — Luke 2:14
We are now in one of the holiest times of the year, Christmas time. The Christmas season is the season of giving. It is the season of God-sized miracles. It is the season in which we wish for peace on earth and good will towards all. I do not believe it was coincidence that the angelic messengers brought the Christmas declaration first, not to the high and lofty, but to the low and humble. The message was delivered first to those regarded as people of low estate. Everything God does is good and perfect in every way, including God entrusting the message of peace and good will to the humble. Peace requires humility, because peace requires give and take. Peace requires a willingness to allow others to be themselves, without judgment, condemnation or harassment. Peace requires us, at times, to hold our tongues when we would rather lash out; it requires being willing to meet people half way. Peace requires being willing to see things through the lens of another’s perspective. Peace requires a true hearted desire for others to experience and enjoy goodwill.
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Is any of this really possible? I believe it is. Being at peace with others is far less difficult when we experience peace within ourselves. The New Testament writer instructed Christ’s followers in this way, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Rom. 12:18. Peace on earth requires inhabitants of the earth to take personal responsibility for themselves first. Each of us should take important steps to find peace within ourselves. I have found that, when I am at peace within myself, I tend to be less agitated with people and life. Inner peace is an ongoing learning and growing process. It is something that requires daily work.
Peace and goodwill are gifts we can give, not only in the Christmas season, but all throughout the year. I want to encourage you to give these gifts, first to yourself, and then to seek to offer these gifts to others around you. I pray this Christmas season the God of peace will visit you and your household and bring you his peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27. I wish peace on earth and goodwill to you and yours. I love you. I’m in your corner!
George Marin is a pastor at Grace Christian Church in Albert Lea.