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Christmas: Peace On Earth?

Updated on August 3, 2013
"We have seen the best of our
 times.  Machinations,
 hollowness, treachery and
 all ruinous disorders follow
 us disquietly to our graves."
  ~Shakespeare - King Lear~

Hotspots & Fuses

A quick perusal of the headlines is not very encouraging. The search for tranquility between warring factions is a never-ending story of failure. Military attempts to end what boils down to tribal animosities have had dismal results.

Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran are simmering hotspots always in the news. The war on terrorism continues unabated, with no cease-fire in sight.

In the Middle East, tension between Israel and Palestinians routinely erupts in violence, threatening to be the fuse that ignites a global apocalypse.

Even so, Christmas is a time to reflect on a decree issued by a choir of angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Try to imagine the world as God intended it to be; a place where all relationships in creation are perfectly aligned with the Creator. It was a reality that once existed in a garden at the beginning of time and one day, in precise compliance with God’s timetable, will come to pass again.

In Isaiah's vision, no creature shall harm any other creature in all of God's earth.
In Isaiah's vision, no creature shall harm any other creature in all of God's earth.

An Idyllic Scene

As human history unfolds we are on a course that inevitably leads to God’s purposes being realized in indescribable peace.

According to Isaiah, a prophet of enormous influence and consequence, one day all relationships will be free of enmity. Consider his timeless words of promise:

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

In a world where violence and hatred seem to be the norm our imaginations can hardly aspire to catch Isaiah’s vision; in a world where manipulation and coercion are commonplace, it is difficult to grasp the full wonder of genuine peace.

Yet, Scripture is clear: At some future time the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the oceans are with water; then no creature shall harm any other creature in all of God’s earth.

Peace is an elusive commodity; for some children, war is ever-present.
Peace is an elusive commodity; for some children, war is ever-present.

An Elusive State

Current events certainly do not provide much hope for this idyllic development.  In our present age we appear determined to wreak destruction. Peace is an elusive state that obviously goes against the bend of human nature.

Here is an incredible statistic: Since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time; in recorded history, only 286 years have seen peace. In that time more than 8000 treaties or accords have been signed, sealed and subsequently broken.

How and when will the ancient Hebrew prophet’s forecast be fulfilled?  God’s Word does not even suggest that Isaiah’s golden age will come through the achievements of people, but that does not release us from responsibility.  

Christ-followers are supposed to be instruments of forgiveness and ministers of reconciliation, but we must accept the truth that ultimate peace will not be a result of our faithfulness.  It will come to fruition when Jesus Christ returns in the clouds with great power and glory for the whole world to see.

Is the promise of eternal peace real or just a pipe-dream?

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Eternal Peace

Until that day of reckoning and wonder, Shakespeare’s dire pronouncement of machinations, hollowness, treachery and all ruinous disorders will indeed follow us to our graves; until then, as Jesus of Nazareth cautioned, there will be wars and rumors of war. Nation shall rise up against nation.

Until Christ returns terrorists and tyrants will cause havoc, but we can take comfort in the knowledge that what was decreed to simple Judean shepherds will one day find unerring completion.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” What those angels actually delivered was God’s declaration of peace, which finds consummation in Jesus Christ.

Jesus—the One born at Bethlehem; the One executed at Calvary; the One who destroyed death; the One who one day will come again—that Jesus is the embodiment of God's plan for eternal peace.

To know Jesus is to be on the path to that lasting peace; peace must find its first expression in the manger of our hearts.

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    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Hopmoney wizard - Thanks for reading & I am glad you enjoyed it. And you are correct; peace will come only upon Christ's triumphant return. Blessings to you.

    • Hopmoney wizard profile image

      Hopmoney wizard 7 years ago from barak

      i just read this hub and its timely for Christmas and its january now. Anyways Its encuoraging hub. How i wish the the whole world will have peace but i know this is not possible until Christ come to earth on his 2nd coming. Thanks Ken

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      HC - Thank you for your well thoughtful comments. Lots to chew on & think about. We humans can screw up anything, even as you say, if God or Jesus split the sky & spoke directly, somehow we'd fight over it. May your daily pray be answered & may you be blessed & encouraged on your faith journey.

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 7 years ago from Lone Star State

      I love the hub and the thoughts behind it. I hope that one day all relationships will be free of enmity. Again, I hope and I dream of that day-but fear with the selfishness and pursuit of power that mankind has managed to implant in our lives-that the day is far in the horizon of many more tomorrows.

      I think that religion, unfortunately gets in the way of obtaining peace. Everyone feels and believes in their version of 'God' and are unbelievably unwilling to give in to the concept that 'God' is what each individual believes 'God' to be-people will fight over religion-even if Jesus or God opened up the sky and told one truth and one belief for the world to abide by, the stupidity of man would argue the event and dissect the words and meaning, just to disagree with their neighbor.

      As I was reading, the John Lennon song, "Imagine", came to mind. While I was in school-I wrote out the lyrics to the song on my notebook and thought, if more people just treated others with the kindness and respect that they want to be treated with, and every man lived for today not for tomorrow, the world would be sweeter. For some reason, people have a hard time looking past their differences to obtain a more pleasant future.

      I wrote a hub, How to get to Heaven, a few weeks ago- it’s about looking past yourself and looking at what others are dealing with. It was about do nice for others, and do it because you want to, not because you want to gain something.

      I’ve many of times said these things to others, and have had them agree with me, but most people do not actually implements anything into their lives that reflects considering others when or before they decide to do something. That is why I think that global peace and mutual respect and understanding are a beautiful thought, which I pray for daily, but I fear that human habits and strive for power will not allow such a dream to become a reality.

      Beautiful Hub-Happy Holidays Ken.

      HC Porter

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Pachuca213 - Thank you for your thoughtful comments & words of encouragement. Blessings & peace to you.

    • profile image

      Pachuca213 7 years ago

      It is so crazy to me that in this world mankind although has it embedded in his heart to yearn for peace cannot overcome the struggle within his imperfect mind to actually be peaceable to one another but instead its been war after war for centuries. You and I both know that only GOD can and will make good on his promises of changing things in the near future. It is also true that the ones who wish to be in his favor actually have to make an effort as the saying goes "faith without works is dead". Not only should we have faith but also provide works by reaching out to others to teach others. What a great hub you wrote. Thank you~

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      frogyfish - Thank you for your kind comments. Peace & blessings to you.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      With all the bleak and black around, your encouragement of truth is appreciated.

      And that water wall - how amazing - feasible!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      habee - Amen to both statements. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      I cannot imagine total peace on Earth, but I believe it will happen. God's word will be fulfilled!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thank you, Malta. Much peace & encouragement to you.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      very nice incite Ken, I like the second picture very much, Isiahs vision is awesome and the faster we recognized it the better, it will be an awesome world, a world possible if they only read this hub, or evn if so, they should participate in achieving the goal, to live harmoniuosly to avoid violence--peaceful

      I came by to greet you best of HIS birthday, Happy holidays to you and yours, Maita

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      The Rope - Thanks for your encouraging comments. Peace, blessings & Merry Christmas to you.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

      It's wonderful to see others are more enlightened that we sometimes give our brothers and sisters credit for. Thanks for a great hub. Merry Christmas and Blessings in the new year...

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      William - Amen. Thank you for stopping in & giving it a read. Blessings to you.

    • Williamjordan profile image

      Williamjordan 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Peace would be wonderful I am glad someone wants peace.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      50 Caliber - Thank you for sharing from your heart. Peace & blessings to you. And I join you in your prayer.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      Peace, what an elusive ideal. It seems to be unobtainable for the entirety of humanity. I have set up a barrier and if I get my mind right I can hide in here and have total peace for a time and truly enjoy small shards of time. So I feel like I have an idea what it will be like but I am kidding myself because my peace is solitaire in it's finding. I can't imagine it with each and every person in the world, it is just to vast an idea for my simple mind.

      I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas as well as the whole world and I pray the American guns are silent for at least 48 hours.

      Good hub, sir.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      matt6v33 - Thank you. Peace & Merry Christmas to you.

    • matt6v33 profile image

      matt6v33 7 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      stopped by to let u know that i'm thinking of you, and to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      eovery - Yes, indeed. Blessings to you.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      It appears this time is getting closer all of the time.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Saintatlarge - Amen. I really love the John 14 reference. That is a great promise of peace. Blessings & Merry Christmas to you.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      godpreacher - Amen. If only we could truly love one another without any restrictions, perhaps we could make a difference in the world. Peace & blessings to you.

    • Saintatlarge profile image

      Saintatlarge 7 years ago from Canada

      In the NIV there are 92 scriptures with ref. to peace in NT.

      i think i like this one the most.

      "Blessed are the Peacemakers for They Will be called the Sons of God." Matt.5.9 and

      "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you..." Jn.14.27

      Israel only had known peace through a couple of leaders in OT., one being Solomon.

      The world as you have stated will not know true peace until Christ's return.

      But we as individuals have been given a gift in a fruit of the Spirit.

      Blessings, Ken

      L.

    • godpreacher profile image

      godpreacher 7 years ago from Atlanta,Ga.

      Bro. Ken,

      another great hub,

      Christians look forward to that time of ultimate peace of all creation. But while we're waiting let us just vow to love another, wouldn't that be grand, and wouldn't our loving each other make a difference in the world?

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
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      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Amen, Cari Jean. Blessings to you.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 7 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      In light of the world today, it is hard to imagine a time when there will be peace for all. I'm so thankful for the promises in God's word that help sustain my hope and my faith.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      coffeesnob - Thank you for your kind & generous affirmation. Much peace & blessings to you.

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 7 years ago

      Ken,

      Your hub is filled with many pockets of gold. thanks for writing it. Peace is something so many dream of, think of or scoff at it's possiblity. Even as I read I knew two things for sure. One is that peace is elusive just by virtue of man's fallen nature and the second is that even as my humanness cries out for peace on earth it is well with my soul because I have access to that peace that passes all understanding. Yes, indeed, one day the eternal peace will come and until then we can focus on being "ministers of forgiveness and reconciliation". This is a great work I've read today. thanks again for it.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Vladimir - Thank you for your good comments. Blessings.

      A M - Thank you. Yes that verse from Proverbs is an excellent one to cite. Blessings.

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 7 years ago from West Allis

      Ken, it is good that we remain knowledgable of the serpents and their ways. We need to be aware without fear. Having faith in that coming kingdom is what keeps us hopeful no matter how troubling it seems. I am reminded of Proverbs 23 and being close to rulers. 'As he thinketh in heart, so is he.' The leaders of the world are not content and they have managed to create weapons so destructive, no one can take down his guard. Without spiritual power, the carnal powers will win out. We can only win the truth by enduring the flames and the lion's dens and showing that our King - is King. Peace

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Some my view:

      We used to send missionaries to distant lands

      now we are sending

      false peacemakers

      to "Palestinians".

      Thank you for important hub, Ken.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      RevLady - Thank you for your thoughtful observations. Your words are always much encouragement to me. May you be blessed & encouraged by the peace of Christmas.

    • RevLady profile image

      RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      It is interesting that I should come to your hub and find it titled, Peace on Earth? A little eerie. Last night I was listening to Willie Nelson's “Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn1aByaCfms) sent to me via email from a former parishioner and it stimulated some of the same thoughts you have written here.

      You stated: "Until Christ returns terrorists and tyrants will cause havoc, but we can take comfort in the knowledge that what was decreed to simple Judean shepherds will one day find unerring completion...To know Jesus is to be on the path to that lasting peace; peace must find its first expression in the manger of our hearts."

      This is truly our comfort, our hope, our joy.

      Though the world as we know it may not experience true peace until His coming again, each of us can welcome and promote God's peace within our personal little worlds. We accept His peace and speak it to all those we encounter; friends, neighbors, strangers on the street or in the department stores, fellow hubbers, bloggers, and so forth.

      Thank you for this hub Ken. It not only briefs us on the terrible problems we face as a world, but it reflects the answer that lay in the manger of Bethlehem.

      May the peace, which passes all understanding, rest and abide with you and your family during this season and beyond!

      Forever His,

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      breakfastpop - Thank you for your encouraging comments. Blessings & Merry Christmas to you.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Wonderful, thoughtful hub. I wish you and yours peace and love. Merry Christmas.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image
      Author

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Pamela99 - Thank you for stopping in & sharing. Much peace & joy to you & Merry Christmas.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Excellent hub. It seems like we read of more conflicts every day. To know Jesus and believe that there will be a day of eternal peace is a joyful thought, especially at this time of year.