This is the fourth installment in Advent All Around, a Think Christian series that sees reflections of Advent in the culture at large.
Two giant companies, Apple and Samsung, have been in a battle over patent infringement charges. The whole mess wound up in a hearing before United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who, according to a Computerworld UK report, made an exasperated call for world peace.
“When is this case going to resolve?" she asked lawyers for the two sides. "This is not a joke; I'm being serious."
The answer, like so much in this protracted legal dispute, was far from simple. Lawyers for both companies spoke and, not surprisingly, in neither case did they answer her question. Instead they found fault with the other.
Koh continued: "I don't want to order anyone to meet again because it hasn't proven successful so far, but is there anything else that can be done? I've said this all along, it's time for global peace."
When invited to find such peace, these two computer giants immediately find fault with each other. And so it goes in the world of peacemaking. Whether it be in the battle between computer giants, warring parties in the Middle East, fiscal-cliff fights between Congress and the U.S. president or our own personal battles, we almost always look for the other person to make the first step toward peace. And because of our demand to remain the wronged party and not forgive, peace never happens.
Woven into the Christmas story is the announcement of the angel to shepherds out in a field that a Savior, Jesus Christ, has come. That angel is joined by a host of others who cry out, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." This newborn baby comes to offer us peace because we are at war with God. We started the war. Like our first parents, Adam and Eve, we want to be our own gods and determine our own way. We defy the one true God. We reject Him and turn away from the beauty of all He offers. Though we often blame Him for out troubles, there is no mutual fault here. He is the wounded party; we are the perpetrators. We sin; He remains pure and right. But now, in the desire for permanent global peace, this baby comes to resolve God’s case against us. Jesus satisfies our billions and billions of awful violations by laying down His own perfect life as an offering before God. In a stunning act of ultimate peacemaking, He takes the justifiable punishment of the losing side on Himself. He reconciles God and man. It is a shocking act of grace and love.
It is easy to look around and wonder if the angels were right. Has peace come? Can wars stop? Can computer giants sit at a table and find a way through the mess? Can we be reconciled to spouses, children, parents, neighbors and friends who have caused us pain and suffering? Because Jesus reconciles us to the Father, we don’t just have an example of peacemaking - we find perfect peace with God.
In response, we have the opportunity to give up our demands and offer our lives to others. In being reconciled, we discover we can begin to follow God’s way instead of our own. So, make peace! Restore relationships! Sit between warring parties and offer truth. Live at peace.