November 28, 2021 SUMC 9am service

Sunday Worship Services:

Sanctuary & online - 9AM and 10:45 AM

Nov. 29, 2021

Rediscover Christmas: Peace

Luke 2:8-20 & Isaiah 9:6-7

1.  Introduction: 

     a.  Advent

          i.  Advent means coming or arrival.

          ii.  Advent allows us to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, to celebrate His birth, and to be alert for His second coming.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom.

    He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

          iii.  Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, an opportunity to align ourselves with God’s presence more than just the hectic season of buying and receiving presents.

     b.  Rediscover Christmas: The attributes of Christ captured in the story of His birth.

          i.  Peace, Hope, Love, & Joy

          ii.  Christmas Eve: Jesus

     c.  Peace

          i.  We must adjust our understanding of the concept of peace to make sure it is consistent with how the Bible uses that term.

          ii.  We need to consider this phrase within its Biblical context so that we don’t use it in a way that God never intended.

          iii.  Pax Romana: The term literally means "Roman peace," and refers to the time period from 27 B.C. to 180 C.E. in the Roman Empire.

2.  Key Text: Luke 2:8-14

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

     a.  Cultural Peace: A period of freedom from public disturbance or war, an agreement and harmony among people, an agreement to end a war.

     b.  Biblical Peace:

          i.  Shepherds would have a Hebrew understanding of peace based on Shalom.

          ii.  Shalom is more than just simply the absence of conflict; it is a complete peace.  It is a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well-being, and harmony between you, God, others, and the world.

          iii.  Textual Variant with Luke 2:14

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (KJV)

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he favors (is pleased)!” (NRSV)

               > peace is “for all” verses “available to all” 

     c.  How do we have peace in the midst of our struggles and uncertainties?

          i.  Many people think peace is found through activities and actions… 

               > We begin positive thinking, meditation, mindfulness or even religion.

               > We try to change or remove ourselves from our current circumstances.

          ii.  Biblical peace is found in a person…

               >  Jesus: The angels proclaimed that peace was coming to earth in the form of a person, who they identified as “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

               >  Jesus makes peace between the Jew and the Gentile.

For he [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Ephesians 2:14-16

          iii.  Put God and His Glory first.

14 “Glory to God in the highest…”

Put our trust in Jesus alone.

14 “…and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

               > We are merely the recipients of the peace that results from accepting the sacrifice that God was pleased to make on our behalf. 

“Glory to God in the highest, whose pleasure it is to provide on earth the availability of genuine peace by sending His Son, the one you will find wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

               > Providing joy and peace is 100% God’s work in our lives.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” 

Romans 15:13

3.  Conclusion: Genuine & Lasting Peace Only Comes Through Faith In Jesus. 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 14:27