We all know that Christmas is about peace. Ever since we were children, we were taught that at Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. We come to church at Christmas and we want to sing the hymns, carols, and songs about peace. Some we know very well because we learned them during our childhood; “Silent Night, holy night, all is calm and all is bright, round yon virgin mother and child, holy infant so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace”, “It came upon a midnight clear that glorious song of old, when angels bending near the earth, they touched their harps of gold. Peace on earth….”, “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth…” We come to worship Jesus because we believe in His peace, that He is the Prince of Peace. We believe that our lives can be touched by peace and that we too can be children of peace. That is why the whole world is drawn to sanctuaries at Christmas. We come to hear words of peace, to hear those beautiful images of peace; that our God is a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and …Prince of Peace…” Yes, we all know that Christmas is about peace. However, there seems to be so much hurting in this world. There is so much destruction and so many wars. There is so little peace. Peace seems to be but an echo from the distant past. Certainly, peace is but an echo in so many parts of the world, especially in places such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Korea, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Israel. Yes, even in Bethlehem there is no peace. And sadly, peace is becoming a mere echo in many homes. People experience so much tension, so much stress, getting ulcers, migraines and heart attacks. Parents explode in anger at their children… husbands and wives respond in anger toward each other… and many explode with anger at just about everybody if for a short time, when things don’t go their way. Peace? Because we are so deeply flawed and because we are people who hurt and harm one another, God sent us His son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace: Jesus said that He came to bring us peace, to teach us to walk in the paths of peace. Where does it begin? Where does it always begin? It begins here with me…and with you. When the Prince of Peace finally comes to live in us, then we know real peace. If the Prince of Peace doesn’t live in us, where is that peace going to come from? When Christ lives inside of us, we do not want to hurt or harm or injure anyone. What is the “peace of Jesus Christ?” The “peace of Christ” has to do with those people in whom the Prince of Peace comes to live. When the Prince of Peace lives within the manger of our heart, we become people who seek and promote peace. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord… Have a peaceful and wonderful Christmas!