Without question, in this world there is suffering. There are many challenges and troubles. Christians understand this worldly reality and the need for salvation. They know as well that there is reason for hope. In all of world history one birth stands above all others. The birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The very calendar of Western Civilization is marked by the time before His birth and the time after. More than two thousand years later, there remains reason for celebration of His birth. As we seek Peace on Earth, faith provides all of us a path for salvation. We have a hope and prayer for a Merry Christmas.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Peacekeepers in Times of Despair and Hope
The struggle between good and evil is real. One need not watch the news very long to see evidence of lawlessness and violence, and there is a need for courage and faith. Those who have worked in the policing profession have witnessed both realities. Of those who seek to bring peace, we are instructed: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). They are indeed a gift to all who seek to live in peace.
Sadly, despair is a reality of suffering for many, and officer wellness is a continuing challenge. In Chicago alone, so far in 2022, there were eight known suicides among the members of the city’s police department. Yet we know, faith is an antidote for despair.
A 2019 worldwide survey from Pew Research Center found actively religious people were more likely to describe themselves as being “very happy.” Faith strengths our ability to have hope to push back against despair. As reported earlier this month in The Guardian, research shows faith is powerful. For example, the frequency of church attendance was “consistently associated with a range of outcomes, including a lower risk of depression, anxiety and suicide and reduced cardiovascular disease and death from cancer.”
As peacekeepers, our police officers seek to protect the innocent, provide justice, and strengthen goodness. Their work is essential to advancing public safety. Fortunately, there are many who actively work to spiritually strengthen those serving in policing. I extend my special thanks to them all, including: the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry, the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers, Jim Bontrager’s Warriors on the Wall Ministry, and the Billy Graham National Law Enforcement Ministry.
Christmas is a time to remember that there is always hope through faith. Spread the Word.
The Significance of His Birth
On Friday, Rasmussen Reports confirmed that Christmas continues to hold special significance. They found that 60% of adults in America believe Christmas is among the nation’s most important holidays. They also found that “57% of American Adults believe Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than about Santa Claus.”
Scripture provides us clarity on why the birth of Jesus holds unique significance worthy of marking all of time.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).
In a confused world, we must hold firmly to truth. The gift of salvation has always been the greatest of all Christmas gifts. It is and always has been a gift available to all who seek and accept it.
Marching to Their Own Drum of Service
We are all called to serve in our own way. Even the drummer boy had a gift fit for a king. As we celebrate the birth of Christ, may we seek to bring true peace and justice to our world in need of salvation.
“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'” (Luke 2:10-11).
We also encourage you to take a look back at our Christmas 2021 message, Redemption, the Power of Christmas.
We are interested in your thoughts, and invite you to comment below.