Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
-Luke 2:14 KJV
Last week on Facebook, Dr. Cornel West shared a book recommendation for people hastily trying to finish their Christmas shopping. The book was Strength to Love, a collection of sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I picked it up a few days ago at a bookstore clearance sale.
On this Christmas day, I’ve been thinking about how the simply profound birth of Jesus ushered in God’s plan for peace with and among humanity. The angels announcing Christ’s birth to the shepherds praised God and proclaimed peace and goodwill toward men.
Elsewhere, in Isaiah 9 we’re told of Jesus’ birth:
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Unto us was given a prince of peace.
When we started this blog, we wanted it to be a place where each of us, in her own way, was working out that peace through explorations of faith, justice, and reconciliation. We focused even then on the person of Christ, who “himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…”
As I’ve been reading Dr. King’s book this week, I’ve been struck by the idea that while we have been given the Prince of Peace Himself, we have also been given by Him the charge of being peacemakers.
King emphasizes this in one particular concept: mutuality. King writes,
In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
In breaking down the wall of hostility between God and man, Jesus was also breaking down the walls people have erected between one another. It’s my fervent hope that we, the adopted daughters of Peace, will seek to proclaim the truth, make peace, restore justice, and serve as reconcilers on this blog, in our communities, and as we move through this world.
It’s a tall order, but we’ve seen it done. We’re celebrating it even now in the humble birth of Christ.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. -Phillipians 2:4-7
Merry Christmas, y’all.