Big Idea: As we reflect on peace at Christmas, we are reminded in God’s Word that peace brings both presence and absence

Presence of Peace

Luke 2:8-14
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 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!”

What is a Savior?

Presence of a King

  • As I “make room” for Him, there is an exchange of rulership…I get off the throne in my heart and mind and I allow Him to sit and rule (in this sense, presence includes absence)

Presence of a Priest

  • I come to Jesus and as a priest, I have someone to talk to, I have someone to get advice from, I have someone to confess to, I have someone to guide me day and night

Presence of a Sacrifice

  • Now, Jesus steps into history to die for humanity- not only does Jesus die FOR US, but He also dies AS US (in place of us so we don’t have to).
  • His presence is my absence: because Jesus died on the cross, I won’t have to

Presence: What are the things this Christmas that bring you peace?

Peace also brings an ABSENCE

Absence of Fear

Luke 2:10
“Fear not, I bring you good news of great joy!”

  • Presence of good news of great joy creates an absence of fear

Absence of Disease

Mark 5:34
“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.”

  • The presence of healing brought an absence of disease

Absence of Darkness

Isaiah 9:2
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”

  • The presence of light is the absence of darkness (fear, worry, anxiety, discouragement, confusion)

Absence of Loneliness

Luke 2:15b-20
The shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying, and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

  • Ordinary men and women could not be in the presence of God, but now, Christ is born to all of us…we now push loneliness away

Presence and Absence

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

  • Wonderful Counselor: presence of one to counsel us means an absence of loneliness
  • Mighty God: presence of strength means an absence of weakness
  • Everlasting Father: presence of a Father means the absence of an orphan spirit
  • Prince of Peace: presence of a Kingdom of peace means the absence of fear

Conclusion:
At Christmas, we remember that the presence of Jesus also brings absence: the presence of healing is the absence of disease; the presence of light is the absence of darkness, and the presence of Immanuel is the absence of loneliness