A Forever Peace seems impossible, especially in light of today’s political climate and worldwide unrest. It also seemed impossible to America’s Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as America was coming thru the death ravages of its Civil War. At the start of the war Longfellow tragically lost his wife to a kitchen fire as her dress had caught on fire while melting candle wax. Longfellow was injured so severely in trying to extinguish the flames that he could not even attend her funeral. Midway through the war Longfellow’s oldest son, unbeknown to his father, enlisted, and was severely wounded soon after. At first it was thought that the wound would result in permanent paralysis but after a long recovery period that thankfully did not prove to be true. Almost all of America was reeling from the despair of the losses during the War years. Longfellow himself too doubted what would become of his country. His hope was renewed as he thought of how God was in total control and not in despair as was mere mortal man. He put his thoughts to verse. “And in despair I bowed my head there is no peace on earth I said, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men. Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep God is not dead nor doth He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth goodwill to men.” Those would be two of the seven verses that make up the Christmas carol that we still sing today titled, “ I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”
In spite of our present circumstances God has made a way for man to experience everlasting peace today as well. Peace is available through the Prince of Peace, God’s Son Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 says, Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We not only have access to having peace WITH God but also we can have the peace OF God. Philippians 4:7 states, And the peace of God , which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The gateway to Peace, to everlasing life, to sins forgiven, is faith or complete and total trust. It’s a faith in the finished work of Christ on our behalf. Titus 3:5 says, Not by any works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He hath saved us. Ephesians 2:8-9 declares, For by grace( the favor of God) are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. May we all be reminded this Christmas season of the purpose of the coming of the baby Christ child who would also be the Prince of Peace. He came to bring us peace for the present and the future. Acknowledge Him and receive the gift of God by faith or trust if you have never done so before. In closing, Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessed Christmas Season,
Pastor Ron Kutz
Bible Baptist Church of Utica