Christmas - Peace on Earth
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 said:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
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 occurrence of the second rising which will bring peace as prophesised in the Old Testament.
Yours fraternally ,.