One of the refrains of a familiar Christmas carol is “peace on earth, good will to men.” When we think of Christmas, these themes have nearly always been accentuated, both in the general culture as well as in the Christian culture. And rightly so. They are biblical themes. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us, is both fitting and God-glorifying if we keep our focus on Him.
However, this year, these themes somehow seem distant and disconnected from the realities that have plagued us during 2020. I have sought to understand why this is the case. Yes, we all know about the external factors: pandemics, economic problems, racial strife, cities out of control, contentious elections, loss of loved ones, and disruptions of work, church, school, and family life in ways never before experienced by most of us. But these obvious factors are not ultimately what’s troubling most of us, I believe.
Instead, what’s most troubling—or should be—is the fact that we no longer seem to seek “peace on earth, good will to men.” There has emerged in the last couple of years (and it has accelerated especially this past year) a rising sense of distrust, fear, anger, and even outrage among peoples of all backgrounds against peoples of all backgrounds. We perceive people who are different from us as possible enemies, rather than brothers or sisters. This tendency is unhealthy, unwise, and un-Christian. It does not reflect well on God for us to think and behave in this way.
Dear friends, our enemy is not a Democrat or a Republican. It is not a man or a woman. It’s not a rich person or a poor person. Not a Black man or woman or a White man or woman. It’s not a young person or an old person. It’s not a citizen of this country or a citizen of another country. No, every person has one enemy, the same enemy—and his name is Satan. He is the great deceiver, the destroyer, the one who is always seeking someone to devour. We can and should recognize that he is the source of the evil that is wreaking havoc in our world right now—and he always has been.
But here’s the more important truth: Satan has already been defeated! When Jesus came down to earth as a little baby boy 2,000 years ago, it wasn’t so that we could have warm, fuzzy feelings of fleeting joy and delight once each year. No, he came to save us from our sins and to defeat Satan once and for all. This is worth celebrating! This is the good news which shall be for all people.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.—Luke 2:10–11
Dear friends, as you celebrate Christmas this week, be bold, be confident in the Lord, and bring peace and everlasting joy into your homes, neighborhoods, churches, and communities as you pay homage to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
May the Lord bless you with peace and joy this Christmas season!
- Please pray for our students, faculty, and staff as we have some much-needed time off during the break between semesters.
- Please pray for the students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Pray that they recover quickly and that the virus not spread to the other students, faculty, or staff. We’re especially zealous to be able to continue to offer our courses and programs in person at the start of the next semester in January.
- Please continue to pray for our school during these extraordinary times. Pray for wisdom and strength as we continue to deal with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
- And, as always, please keep praying for our school’s finances. Pray that the Lord would be especially gracious and merciful to us here at the end of the calendar year.