“Find Peace In The Heart Of Christmas” 

Scripture: Luke 2:8-14 // Colossians 1:19-22 // Matthew 5:9 

We are in the second week of a Christmas series called “The Heart Of Christmas.” We have been discovering the true meaning of this holiday season and focusing on the Advent attributes of hope, peace, joy, and love that Christ brought us through his miraculous birth. 

Last week we began with hope, that is at the heart of Christmas. We read about the faithfulness of God from his prophetic word regarding Jesus’s future coming and the fulfillment of that word in Jesus’s birth. This gives us confidence that we can place our hope in him. No matter what we face, God is right on time and will meet us in our time of need. 

Today, we will look at another aspect of the heart of Christmas—the wonderful offer of peace. 

When I was a little girl my mother was the organist at our church in North Woolwich. We had a ragtag choir consisting of any child that happened to come to Sunday School. One of the songs my mother taught us to sing during Christmas was, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The song doesn’t actually have any mention of Christmas but it was often sung during the Christmas season when our minds are looking for peace, our hearts are longing for peace and we hear the Scripture, Luke 2:14, 

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace; good will toward all.” 

The song was written in 1955 by Jill Jackson who said she wrote it after finding the “life-saving joy of God’s peace and unconditional love.” She was apparently suicidal before she wrote the song and before God’s peace broke through to her. 

The song is powerful because it leads us to God’s true peace and then it personalizes it with the line, 

“and let it begin with me.” 

World peace begins inside each of us. When we think about that concept it seems unlikely to work. 

Yet the Christmas story in the Bible begins with the most unlikely group of people. The first announcement of the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem was given by a multitude of heavenly angels to a group of shepherds who were out in a field watching their flocks to keep them safe at night. Shepherds in first century Israel were individuals who existed on the fringe of society. They were considered stinky, dirty, and untrustworthy. They lived on their own for months as they traveled with their flocks. It would have been shocking to the first readers of the book of Luke to read that the shepherds were the people God chose to entrust with such an important message. 


They weren’t the only ones who were shocked. The angels had to steady the shepherds by telling them to not be afraid,

because they were terrified in their presence. 

The message they brought was good news because a baby had been born who was the long-awaited Messiah—the one who was promised long ago to rescue God’s people. The angels told them where to find Jesus, and before they left on their search, a heavenly host spoke over them: 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Jesus was ushering in peace. 

In one survey, when asked who you identify most with in the Christmas story, nearly one-third of those questioned said they identified the most with the shepherds. 

The shepherds were average, ordinary people and yet were invited to see the birth of the King of kings. (ministry127.com) 

What I find most amazing is that, when God wanted to announce the arrival of his son, he did not do it in the presence of kings or queens. He announced it to the poor and the forgotten. It truly is good news because, if God’s favor was offered to the shepherds, then surely God’s favor and peace is available to us as well.

When you think about it, peace is one of the world’s greatest needs. 

From the time sin entered the world and affected all of creation, we have been at odds with God. 

The Bible says we were enemies of God and in rebellion against his rule and reign. Sin did not just stop there, it also caused us to be in conflict with one another and ourselves. This is why Jesus’s birth was, and is, such good news. It is the ultimate answer to the brokenness that exists because of sin—brokenness between ourselves and God, ourselves and others, and our own inner voice. This is the way Paul put it as he wrote to the church in Colossae. Colossians 1:19-22,

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

To understand the peace that is ushered in at Christmas time, we must understand that, although Jesus arrived in a cradle, his life would lead to a cross. Jesus intentionally lived a sinless life and willingly offered his life through crucifixion. Paul was expressing the role that Jesus plays in making peace. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that makes peace between us and God. 

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross pays for the sin we have committed, it appeases God’s anger toward sin, and it destroys the power of evil in our lives. Being reconciled to God is the key to experiencing peace in every other area of our lives. 


When we receive the gift of forgiveness that is offered to us by faith, we become friends of God and he offers us his power to help us navigate the difficulties of life. Some may believe that being made right with God means they will never face any problems. 

This is not the case. 

Pastor and speaker Dr. Tony Evans says it like this: 

“Peace does not mean you won’t have any problems. Peace means that your problems won’t have you.” 

The peace offered to those on whom God’s favor rests does not equate to the absence of conflict. We may still have circumstances that don’t go our way or challenging relationships to navigate. What it does promise is the presence of God in our lives; and if He is with us, there is nothing we should fear. 

We can go to him for guidance and strength. We can lean on him when we get weary. He promises to bind up our wounds when we are hurt. God desires for us to make peace with ourselves. Every past mistake, personal struggle, or worry for the future is met with the love and grace of God. We also make peace with others because of the forgiveness of God given to us. When we come to recognize the grace given to us, our hearts are transformed to offer grace to others. 

As we get closer and closer to Christmas day, let’s remember this is the season known as Advent. 

Advent comes from the Latin word meaning arrival. Jesus’s first coming was the arrival of God’s light of the world. Like sitting around a lit Christmas tree at night, the glow of God’s presence washes over us. It calms our fears and steadies our hearts. At Christmastime, we also make note of another advent that is to come. 

One day in the future Jesus will return and make all things right once and for all. 

His peace covers our past, meets us in our present, and is a promise for the future. 


What the world needs more is,

people who have the peace of God in their hearts and who are willing to share that peace with others. 

As Christians, it is not optional for us to embody this peace. It is an expectation that Jesus has for his followers. Joining God in making the world a better place is the purpose of our lives. 

In fact, we focused on one of Jesus’ most famous sermon in Matthew, chapter 5, verse 9, where Jesus said,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

First the angels told the shepherds that peace was available to those on whom God’s favor rests. Jesus said something similar when He stated that peacemakers will be blessed, and they will be called children of God. 

When we are willing to seek reconciliation with others and fight for harmony rather than sowing dissension, we are identified with the heart of God who longs to reconcile the world to himself. We look like the Father, and we are recognized as children in his family.  It is the very reason for which Jesus came to earth. We will find peace at the heart of Christmas when we are in a right relationship with God, with ourselves, and with others. 

There are many people who do not value peace in their relationships, and so they live in a constant state of conflict. Some people are looking for a fight because they aren’t in one. It reminds me of what Linus said to Charlie Brown in a Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie Brown was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, and Linus observed, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.” 

Unfortunately, this is the outcome for people who believe Christmas is about other things besides hope, peace, joy, and love. This Christmas may we be people who embrace the gift offered to us through Jesus who died for us so we might live in a right relationship with God, ourselves, and others. 

Lord’s Supper

Write Up: 

The announcement of Jesus’s birth was delivered to shepherds who lived on the fringe of society, in the fields, watching their sheep by night. If a king were born to the world, you would expect these shepherds to be the last ones to know about it. Yet, the heavenly angels told them that peace was coming to the earth for those on whom God’s favor rested. What a shocking message! God’s favor was even on the shepherds. They were being offered peace; and if it could be given to them, we can rest assured it is offered to us as well. Now that is good news for a world that is in turmoil! 


Jesus’s birth offers us peace in the middle of our difficulties and stresses. 


Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the presence of Christ. 


Take time to share with God the stresses of your life and trust that His favor is on you today. He longs to bring you peace. 

Discussion Questions: Provide these questions to your Sunday School classes or small groups, or send them home with families to discuss during the week. They are also a great way to engage with your online audience before, during or after each service. 

  1. What kinds of things tend to rob peace from people’s lives? 
  2. How is the presence of God and the presence of peace related? 
  3. Why is Christ’s sacrifice necessary to reconcile us to God? To ourselves? To others? 
  4. What is one practical way to live life as a peacemaker?