Guide us to the path of peace… (Luke 1:79)

…Guide us to the path of peace. (Luke 1:79)

In a season of discouragement and anxiety, I read the book of Luke to spend time with Jesus. The “path of peace” in Luke 1 caught my attention. I needed a bit of peace in my anxious, worried life. I looked up the meaning of “peace” in my Bible resources, and I found that it meant well-being and healing and completeness. I needed this—to be restored and put back together. In Luke 2, I read the angel’s message to the shepherds.

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”(Luke 2:9-14)

These are familiar words—I probably memorized them for a Christmas program when I was 6 or 7. But now I learned that shepherds were not valued—in fact, they were looked down on because their job kept them away from regular religious activities. Yet the glory of the Lord shone on them and an angel gave them a message of peace and great joy—God had come to visit them. The shepherds weren’t the last on his list to get the invitation. He didn’t start by shining his glory on the rich or the powerful. He came to everyday people doing their everyday jobs.

I realized anew that this good news of great joy and peace is for everyone. The book of Luke shows us Jesus speaking to women and children and outcasts and respected religious people. Jesus welcomed everyone who was seeking him.

“This is for you” was the message I heard every time I read. I found these words in Luke’s second book:

For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. (Acts 2:39)

The promise of a Savior, the glory that shone on the shepherds, and the great news of a God who walked this earth with us and is still present with us today—this is for you, even if you are feeling far off, or left out or not quite good enough.



photo credit:  Henk Bouma

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