Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Merry Christmas?


Luke 2:13-14 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, goodwill toward men!"


So for whom was the first Christmas Merry?

It wasn’t really merry for Mary and Joseph.  They had to travel to Bethlehem to be part of a census.  Apparently they couldn’t send the forms by mail and had to show up in person.  Can you just imagine Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem (about 80 miles).  Tradition says she was on a donkey while Joseph walked.  It that was true, the journey took at least four days and maybe a week.   In addition, Mary was with child before she was married.  I feel confident that by the time the Lord was born that they were married, but still there may have been relatives that believed she was a “loose woman.”  None of these things would make for a Merry Christmas.



When the angels appeared to the shepherds, their message was one of peace.  They were announcing the hope of Israel.  Israel was under Roman rule and now they were being told that finally God was fulfilling His promise to send them the Messiah.  He was to be their King.  He was to offer the Jews peace.  So what happened to the peace that was being offered?  The Jews rejected their Messiah and the peace that He offered.  In the final week of His life, He made what we call His triumphal entry into Jerusalem where a crowd wanted to crown Him King.  But by the end of that week, a multitude (probably many of the same people) wanted Him crucified.  As He made his triumphal entry, He wept over Jerusalem.   He knew that a cross awaited Him instead of a crown.  He said,  "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation" (Luke 19:41-44).  This day was the the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9 that indicated that after 69 weeks of years the Messiah would be cut off.  The Jews rejected the Lord who wanted to give them peace and accepted a man by the name of Barabbas who was willing to fight the Romans.  They accepted a man that they thought could save them and rejected the man who could have saved them.  As a result, Titus, the Roman general fulfilled the Lord’s prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.


Today, when contestants in beauty pageants are asked what they want, the correct answer is world peace.  Every President we have and most leaders of the free world would say that they want the same thing.  But we never get it.  And we won’t get it until the Lord comes to set up a righteous kingdom.  Our training from the time we are young has to do with competition and not with cooperation.  We compete for grades, we compete for the best jobs with the biggest companies, we compete on the football fields, we compete politically.  Someone has to win and someone has to lose.  Instead of cooperation there is striving to be top dog.  Yet, the Lord told us that to be great we had to be servants.  He proved that by dying for us when instead He could have called twelve legions of angels to fight for Him if He had wanted to fight instead of die. 


The Good News and the Bad News

I have good news.  Even if the world wants to continue fighting and warring, even if big business wants to continue using employees like pawns instead of like people, even if neighbors and families cannot get along, we can have personal peace with God.  And that is the most important peace to have.  By nature, we are enemies of God (Romans 5:10).  But when we trust in the Lord we are reconciled to God and the war is over.  It is a war that started with Cain and Abel and that will culminate in the battle of Armageddon during the Tribulation period. 


But the bad news is that things are going to get worse on this earth before they get better.  Men say that they want peace but the money and profit seems to be in war.  The people who are respected are the winners.  They are the rich, they are the political kingpins, they are the ones who desire to control the money and the people and they often do it through religion.  But even though Christ was rejected 2000 years ago by His own people,  that does not mean that He has to be rejected by you or by me.  The apostle Paul says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).  I have that peace and I hope you do as well.


My message isn’t really a merry one unless you understand what the Lord said in John 16:33:  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." The world is not going to give us peace.  Nor does our future in this world look very merry.  But the Lord can change all that for each one of us.  Peace!


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of December 18, 2016

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