Luke 2:7-14: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, see, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
In this year’s Christmas message we are going to focus on the word PEACE which is found in the songs of praise sang by a group of military personal, I mean soldiers who were the first to sing Christmas carol. I can gladly say that this group of Soldiers originated the Christmas carol that is been imitated and sang during Christmas today all over the world where Christianity is practiced.
The questions are, where do these Soldiers came from? Whom do they accompany? What were they singing about, and why would soldiers be involved in singing Christmas carol?
These soldiers came from God, these can be found in the bible record of event in Luke chapter 2 verse 13, the International Standard Version of the original translation clearly shows that the multitude of heaven hosts as stated in the King James version is actually referring to Military personal. They are not only identified based on their military outfit and organizational formation but the writer can distinguish them from the one Angel who came to announce the good news to the Shepherds at night.
The soldiers do not come to make the announcement that was the duty of the Angel. But they later joined the Angel and started singing the first carol on Christmas. What where they singing about. They said “Glory to God in the highest and Peace on Earth and good will to men”. Their song contains a message to us on earth about the significant of Peace at Christmas, the birth of Christ. So why would soldiers be involved in singing Christmas carol when they should be planning and strategizing for war.
The Truth is that the “Child” Jesus Christ who has just been born is their Commander in Chief and His mission on earth is all about Peace and that is why the word peace was loudly mentioned in the wordings of their song. “Peace on earth” they said. Christ Himself was referred to by Isaiah the prophet as Prince of Peace. “For unto us a child is born unto us a son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace, of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his Kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and with Justices from henceforth even forever the zeal of the Lord of host will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6 – 7.
In His beatitude Jesus Christ pronounced blessings on all those who are involved in making of peace in times of crisis and he referred to them as God’s children. Matt 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”.
In Christ’s parting admonitions to his followers He emphasized on the importance He attached to this particular aspect of His mission on Earth which is “Peace” Hear what He says in the gospel according to St. John Chapter 14:27 and Chapter 16:33
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world give, give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
“These things I have spoken into you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheers I have overcome the world”.
Many years after Christ departure from this earth, the Holy Spirit still went ahead to inspire one of the greatest writers of the New Testament epistles to continue to bring the need for peaceful coexistent to the fore and to emphasize on it’s indispensability in our practice of the Christian faith. This could be found in the book of Hebrews Chapter 12:14
“Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man will see God.”
I would therefore love to put it to you my dearly beloved listeners that the Christian message is a Message of peace both at Christmas and even after the CHRISTMAS.
And at no time in recent history than now is this Christmas carol message of peace relevant in our Nation as sang by the heavenly soldiers for the birth of Jesus Christ, their Commander in Chief.
Let us therefore meditate on the following thoughts as this message is brought to a close.
A. A Follower of Jesus Christ is a Peace Ambassador. We are called to make peace at all times under any circumstance.
B. A Peace diplomat therefore cannot be seen to be partisan, he/she must be neutral at all times.
C. A. Peace maker cannot force his/her personal opinion on those he/she is called upon to mediate.
D. Peace and violence are not relative. Where one is present the other must be absent.
E. Believer must be careful to avoid situation whereby one feels that peace is realizable only when our wishes and commands are adhered to.
F. Respect, Acceptance, Tolerance, Consideration, Forgiveness, Love and Compromise are the words that work magic and facilitate peace and reconciliation in a situation of crisis.
Finally, I will love to conclude this message by reading a quotation from Pastor Scibeli of the Greater Grace World outreach, USA in his Christmas message to Believers around the world he says and I quote.
Christmas is about Jesus, the infinite Eternal one becoming perfect man. That was amazing humility and grace for the infinite to become an infant. So many celebrate Christmas but do not celebrate Jesus Christ’s life and work, “God with us”. We reflect that not only God is with us but that He became one of us in the incarnation, in Isaiah 9:6-7. Unto us a child is born unto us a son is given. Unto us, are such powerful words, all for us, a child and a Son is given. That is grace. The true celebration of Christmas is Christ in you the hope of glory. Col.1:27”.
As I conclude my message I want to use this medium to pray for his Excellence Shelk Professor, Alhaji , Dr. Yahaya, A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa, The Commander in chief and President of the Republic of The Gambia. We pray for his well being and that of his family members. We pray for the Vice President and all cabinet Ministers for Gods wisdom and protection over their lives as they continue to serve this nation.
We extend our prayers to the heads all political parties in the Gambia, we pray for their well being and that of the members of their family.
We pray that the Almighty God will touch the hearts and minds of all the political actors to continue to ensure that peace prevail in the nation.
And on behalf of the Born Again churches here in the Gambia known in Caucus Block as Gospel Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic, The Reformed Evangelical Churches and on behalf of our Ministry King Jesus Ministries Lamin village, I want to say to all that May the Peace that Christ Brings at Christmas be with you all. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Advance.
by His Lordship: The Right Rev. (Dr.) Elijah Dennis Ejila. PhD, Presiding Bishop King Jesus Ministries Inc. Lamin Village, Kombo North, WCR, The Gambia