A few years ago, the Piano Guys released their own take of “Angels from the Realms of Glory”, a nearly two hundred year old Christmas hymn. On our drive to and from school, the girls and I love to listen to it and loudly sing along. There are lots of exuberant and joyful “Gloria” in it, which makes it the perfect song for a two and a half and five year old girl. If you haven’t heard it, do yourself a favor and watch/ listen to it as soon as you are done reading this note. The song is a treat to the ears, with powerful melodies and even more powerful lyrics. I am particularly struck by these lines:
Though an Infant now we view Him
He shall fill His Father's throne
Gather all the nations to Him
Every knee shall then bow down.
The third line, “gather all the nations to Him”, packs a particular punch, especially in times like ours. Russia vs Ukraine and Israel vs Hamas are just two painful and recent remainders of the violence we are capable of inflicting on one another. It is unavoidable, but imperative, to admit that Jesus’ words describing the end times in Matthew 24:7, “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”, have come to pass. They have done so for a long time already, and like the pains of a woman giving birth, will only increase. Of course, many of us also experience this enmity and violence in our homes, schools, workplaces, Churches and local governments. Truly, we live at war against each other.
But there is hope! Yes, it may not look like much to human wisdom. A young, poor woman giving birth to a seemingly fatherless child. Who would expect salvation and peace from him? Who would think that from such a humble beginning, he would rise to fill his Father’s throne? Who would think it is He who will gather all the nations under his loving lordship? Be honest, neither you nor I would imagine that. Nonetheless, it will happen. The rock that will fill the earth is fastly approaching Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. In a way, it has already happened at the cross, as peace was forever extended and assured to all who receive. Yet, Satan, our defeated enemy, does his best to make us think otherwise while he waits for his inevitable destruction. But you and I know better. Every year, Christmas is another reminder of it. Jesus is the Desire of Nations and He will “rule the nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:27). If you are feeling heartbroken over the war raging in your home, in your city and in the world, take heart. During this season, anticipate that in and because of Jesus a peace grounded in love will rule the universe.
One last thing: Jesus doesn’t bring peace because He carries the biggest gun. He does because He loves the most. If we are to be bearers of good news, just like the angels to the shepherds, we need to follow Jesus’ example. Defeat violence with love. The Jesus’ way.