Gun sales in California are sky rocketing as the day that their new gun laws go into effect draws closer. One manager of a gun store in Sacramento said, “The whole anti-gun movement, taking guns from citizens, literally has everyone and their grandmother buying firearms before they can’t get them anymore because they want to be able to be protected”. A customer that was interviewed on the news said that he believed in peace and karma but that he was buying a gun in case that didn’t work out. Apparently it is a little unnerving trying to live out the principles of Hinduism in a world that is salted with radical Islamic terrorism. This is understandable since in the same news coverage we get an update on the attack on a Christmas Market that killed a dozen people and injured forty-eight more in Berlin the day before; and we also hear discussion of the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey the day before that. I am sure that every Miss America contestant since the dawn of that pageant has spoken out for world peace; and we have even seen an NBA star change his name to “World Peace”; yet for all the wishful thinking we have yet to attain the goal.
At the announcement of Jesus’ birth the angels declared “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!” (Luke 2:14). When He grew up He taught, ““Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9). But Jesus knew that His way of peace would not be accepted and that people would respond in violence. That is why He also said, ““Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) And what happened? They killed Him. He also taught that in the last days before His return we would see “wars and rumors of wars”. In other words we are not going to accomplish world peace until the Prince of Peace has returned. So then what do we celebrate during the Christmas season? Where is this peace that was promised with the birth of the Son of God? Part of this peace we look forward to as we await His return. Part of this peace we participate in as we follow the Bible’s teaching which says, “ If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18). But the foundational part of all of this is the peace we enjoy with God through trusting in His Son. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1).