December 18, 2013
Scripture: Zechariah 9:10
“I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).
Unfortunately, for many of us, “peace” is one of the last words that comes to mind when we think of Christmas. Instead, in the midst of the bustle of shopping, or preparing the perfect Christmas meal, Christmastime often feels extremely chaotic.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be called the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Zechariah 9:9-12 shows that the Messiah was expected to come in peace, to end warfare and to proclaim peace throughout the land. Rather, what we often see is war, economic unrest, political turmoil, and flat out evil.
And in the midst of this type of world, imperfect human beings attempt to bring peace through their own efforts—whether through militaristic action on a global scale or self-help practices on a personal level. The problem: true peace does not exist apart from the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.
But we still wait with expectation—the expectation expressed in the great hymns “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” We look forward to that day when Christ will come again and fully establish His reign on earth—when all swords will be beaten into plowshares, there will be no more death, and every tear will be wiped away. This Christmas, let’s pray for God’s peace to reign both in our hearts and in our world.
Author: Andy Bentz is the pastor at Calvary Free Methodist Church in Lexington, KY. He and his wife Ashley attended WFMC while he studied at Asbury Theological Seminary. They live in Lexington.