Christmas Message from Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham
Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin with me. I ponder these words amid news reports of violence and devastation, grappling with their meaning. Yet, firm in the hope of Jesus, I believe we can experience his peace.
If you and I are going to navigate the times we are living in, I believe we are going to need to take the peace-bringing character of Jesus into our hearts and minds. For Scripture tells us that God’s peace is unlike anything the world can offer, it surpasses all understanding – it does not depend on the state of a nation, nor does it hinge on personal well-being.
By God’s grace, this circumstance-defying peace dwells within us. At Christmas, we are invited to contemplate again the gift of Jesus, Prince of Peace, who came and made his home with us; 'the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory ... true from start to finish.' (John 1:14, The Message)
Through His earthly ministry, people watched as Jesus endured and embraced the mess of humanity, proving to be steadfast, true, and lasting, proving that peace is something worthwhile, proving that peace is not a distant dream, but an attainable reality.
When we place Jesus at the centre of our lives, this same peace finds complete freedom in our hearts. And, as people committed to Jesus, we find ourselves right in the centre of his will, restoring us to a wholeness that lasts far beyond any personal trial or triumph.
So, this Christmas, let’s pray that peace would not be a substitute for wishful thinking, but for purposeful action rooted in love; something we cultivate through Jesus-centred living. I pray that we, as a Salvation Army, would hold firm to the knowledge that not only can we plead, ‘Let there be peace on earth,’ but that we would possess the will for it to begin with us.
I pray your Christmas season is a blessed one. Allow your heart to become a sanctuary of peace as you experience afresh the gift of God’s love in His Son, Jesus Christ.