“…And on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!”  Luke 2:14

In this world you will have tribulations…….”  John 16:33

“My help comes from the Lord; the maker of heaven and earth”  Psalm 121:2

On – so as to be or supported by       From – used to specify a starting point

Okay, strange title and no I have not been imbibing in too much holiday adult beverages.   The idea for this post came from a couple of different observations/inspirations.  First came from the wonderful Casting Crowns Christmas Song:  I heard the bells on Christmas Day and along with that the juxtaposition of the feeling of the season with the reality of our days.

On earth, peace goodwill to men is a very basic desire, yet it is not the only one.  We also desire equality, respect, dignity.  It is an almost universal desire that evil would be vanquished, the poor and downtrodden supported.  We desire a sense of joy and contentment.  We greatly desire those things so as to be; to be on.  We hear preached that is why Jesus Christ came, so as to be located here, with us.

In the song:  I heard the bells on Christmas Day, the singer, after he has heard the bells ring out a message of peace on earth, hangs his head in despair because he sees no peace on earth.  And that is a tragically ironic reality we find ourselves in.  For during this season; a season we so hope will be filled with light, joy, peace and overflowing love, we see our species waging war on itself all over the globe.  We have children walking into schools shooting other children.  Homeless die laying out in the frigid cold.  I could go on but you get the message which for some drives them to depression and others to doubt the existence for the Reason for the season.

And so we get to from – the specific starting point.  If you and I start from this world as our starting point and look from there, we will see many things.  We will see that money and gain are the bottom line for all things.  We will see the conflict is a natural way to enforce one’s will over another.  We will see the physically beautiful are to be adored and the unattractive, by this world’s measure, should be shunned.  We will see humor in other’s failure and to lie is only bad if you’re caught.  In this world the ends justify all means.

That’s why the angels sang out; On earth, instead of From earth.  Dear brothers and sisters the simplest of reality can be the most difficult for you and I to grasp.  The so as to be, the on, that we so truly desire, as well as the only one that will truly work for us, can only have One place to be its specific point of origin, the from:  God.

Jesus came on to this world, He did not come from it.  That we are able to truly love, on this earth, comes from the fact that we first find our ability to love, from God above.  In a little bit of paraphrase we are told that we are to live on this world; but not get our ability to live from it.  We know the strife that the world will throw at us, but at times it will even try to supply our desires for joy, meaning, love and peace, but those times are just self centered traps masquerading as the genuine articles.  They will not, nay cannot last.

If our from is from the Lord, we have the gift of having our so as to be an eternal presence with Him.  It is critical that you and I prayerfully, diligently focus our sight on Him who has brought about our Salvation.  From the perspective that Jesus Christ is on our side; we have no reason to hang our head in despair.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, seemingly, at this time, greater than at any time before, we are constantly bombarded by the world’s message.  Every where we turn and at all hours of the day and night we see the images of despair and strife as well as those of greed and avarice.  The world is trying to drown out Your message of what is right and how it is that we are to live.  Let Your Message Thunder, All Powerful Father that we might not be tempted to take the world’s message over Yours.  Pour out Your Mercy, Love and Grace on a world which can generate none of those on its own.  Be with us, Your children, each day. teaching us to look to You.  That our lives would show in praise to You, that we proclaim to all that we know from whence comes our Salvation; even our very lives.  On and In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

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