It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to ‘peace and goodwill towards all men’ – we sing the refrain in our carols and write the sentiment on the cards that we send one another. But sadly the reality of our lives and the news we watch every day, tell a different story – there seems to be precious little peace and goodwill in our world, and things don’t seem to get any better just because it is Christmas.
I never forget the Christmas when my brother and I had a fight over some toy. He had been busy building a plastic model of the Apollo 13 space rocket that now stood in our bedroom nearly two feet tall. As we fought I pushed him and he fell back and sat on the rocket breaking it to pieces. Needless to say he was furious with me, complained to our mum and got me into lots of trouble. Of peace and goodwill there was no sign whatsoever!
But just before we become too cynical and dismiss the whole idea as a fantasy, let’s remember that the message of Christmas is not that peace and goodwill are guaranteed, but that if we come to Christ and follow his example peace and goodwill become possible.