It's that time of year, the
Christian festival season of Christmas, once again, when we will hear people
saying, “Peace on earth and good will between men.” This constant refrain is uttered by all sorts
of people from all quarters at this time of year. However, it is interesting that many people
don't know that their mangled quotation is actually derived from a passage from
the New Testament. Most do not know what
it really means.
A fabricated, momentary “peace”
at Christmas time is not the intention derived from the words of the angles who
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men”
Our Biblical scholars tell us
the angles message was not “peace between men of good will” or even
“peace and good will between men.”
Rather it was peace on earth and good will toward men from God
for those who accept the babe in the manger: Christians.
This is a powerful Biblical
statement about the identity of Jesus Christ.
What Luke tells us in the passage is that for all who accept this babe
in the manger as God’s Son and as their Saviour, there shall be peace on earth
for them with God and there shall be good will toward them from God. In amplification the passage says, “Good will
toward men” not “good will between men.” Actually, it is a peace
between man and God, for it is through this babe in the manger that humans can
have peace with God. In other words
there is a condition on it being a universal panacea despite our well meaning
intentions in our blessing.
Christians believe that only
through His Son as our Saviour can you be at peace with God. No one else can give you peace with God. No
one else can cause God to pour out His good will toward you. Christians believe
that only Jesus can do that.
The New International Version
of the Bible clarifies the intention of the verse.
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to
men on whom his favour rests’” (Luke 2:13-14).
However, how can peace be
delivered on Earth? It would be hard to
deny that a universal observance of our masonic principles would produce a
peaceful environment even with many welcomed in our ranks who are not
Christians. We proudly have four Volumes
of the Sacred Law on the Pedestal before out Master. I feel that the verse should be able to be
used in principle to apply a universal hope for peace and goodwill. However there should be caution with those
who have demonstrated that they do not act with high integrity and
goodwill. But let us try to be generous,
open hearted and forgiving in all our actions.
Live is short and precious and we are foolish to allow anger, hate and
envy to consume us. We are taught to be
forgiving. We can then wait until the
of the second rising which will bring peace as prophesised in the Old