Phone: 701.636.5701
204 Caledonia Avenue East, Hillsboro, ND

Sr Pastor Joe Johnson 701.430.3787 


Thursday, December 24

Peace came to earth at last that chosen night when angels clove the sky with song and light, and God embodied love and sheathed his might. Who could be gasp: Immanuel! Who could be sing: Immanuel.

You show the Father none has ever seen, in flesh and blood you bore our griefs and pains, in bread and wine you visit us again. Who could but see Immanuel! Who could but thrill Immanuel!”   –ELW #285 V. 1 and 3 

This is not the most familiar song in the hymnbook, but the words are great. And yet they challenge us to wonder what difference it made that Jesus came to earth. We say he was Peace, and yet we see war and suffering all around us. Christians are hardly exempt from pain and chaos. In fact, we often cause it.

It would be nice if believing in Jesus suddenly rid us of all anger, resentment, fear, and hatred. It would be nice if walking into a church suddenly healed your body, mind, and spirit. We often hope Jesus would work like magic, that the speaking of his name would cause us to fall on our knees in love and devotion. It would be nice.

When Peace came to earth, it doesn’t mean the world was okay or would be okay. It doesn’t mean that Jesus could magically solve all our problems. Ironically, because Jesus spoke of Peace in our hearts and asked us to act on that peace in the world, it was too threatening. We got rid of Peace, in preference to the way things were.


Inviting Jesus-Peace-Wisdom-Truth-Word into our hearts is a regular invocation. Praying and thinking about how that challenges us and will cause us to challenge the “way things are” in this world is a 

regular meditation. And that is why we gather once a week and partake of the bread and wine. We believe that somehow Jesus is in the bread and wine, another version of 

incarnation. When we eat this, we are chewing on grace, sipping Peace, and inviting Jesus once again into our bodies and hearts, giving us courage and strength to be Peace to a chaotic and suffering world.

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