I havent blogged in a while so I'm just going to repaste some thoughts about Christmas from my community group's topic page on The City... Christmas laziness at its finest...
So this season has gotten me in the Christmas spirit more than most. After not really experiencing an American Christmas the last two years, I found that I really dont complain as much about the commercialism that I used to talk about all the time. In fact, I was that guy who was always quick to point out that Jesus’ birthday was probably in April, not December and that the only reason Christmas happens now is because early Christians wanted something to compete with the pagan traditions surrounding the Winter solstice. Even the tree and the lights are pagan.
But thankfully, I’m not the Debbie Downer I used to be. One thing that has struck me recently is the phrase above, “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” It’s a very happy thing for the angels to say to the characters in the Nativity story. So happy in fact that while I was watching my usual Thursday night comedy tv show lineup, that was really the only positive thing people had to say about the Christmas holiday. For the most part it was very PC, relativistic, humanistic, etc. but these shows did like this peace on earth line.
What the first meaning would indicate would be that the angels are telling these Jewish peasants and foreign kings is that “Hey, there’s a King coming and he wants to make everyone on earth get along, so quit squabbling with each other, AIGHT?!” But the more I look at this passage, the less this makes sense. Jesus even at one time says “Do not think that I came to bring peace. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Mat. 10:34.
Especially because the angels are the ones speaking here. They spend all their time singing around the throne of God when they arent being sent on missions by God to defeat demons or give revelation to mankind. You have to think that they are more concerned about the cosmic things than people being nice to each other ie. the enmity between God and man, not the wars between man and man.
Other contextual clues point to this as well, that “peace on earth” means peace between God and man. Christ was born for something greater than Reformation of our lives, like Tyler said yesterday. He came for more than self-improvement. (There is a great line from Fight Club about that, but its a little vulgar, so I wont use it). I love this though. He came to create a cosmic peace, defeat a cosmic separation, and give us cosmic victory over our sin. Anything less would lead to “the world’s lamest Lion’s Club” (paraphrasing Tyler). Anyways, if ya’ll have thoughts on Christmas that have struck you amidst the season of busyness and shopping, post away!