On July 22, 2013 Prince George was born to Prince William and his wife Kate. The little prince is third in line to the throne of Great Britain. How was the royal birth announced? A blank announcement was taken to the hospital where Kate labored. Once the baby was born, the doctors (there were four), filled in the blanks which included the time of the birth and the gender of the child. That document was then framed and presented on a golden tripod outside Buckingham Palace. The name of the child was not on the announcement because tradition required the name to be communicated to the Queen before it was announced a few days later. Then there was also a 41-gun salute! That is quite a birth announcement! Why such a big deal? The people of Great Britain now know that the House of Windsor will continue on the throne for at least three more generations. Many Brits look at this as a blessing from God and a sign of the continuation of their great nation. Maybe that gives them a little peace of mind.
In the Gospel of Luke, there is a much more memorable birth announcement described. The birth of Jesus. The birth of a king! It is a celestial announcement with an angel and heavenly hosts. The announcement was made to shepherds and included a brief prayer and blessing. The prayer and blessing praised God and asked that there be peace on earth and goodwill. When we read Luke’s description of the announcement every year, we hear those words; Peace on earth and goodwill. And when I read those words, I do feel a bit peaceful. But then I read the paper. Is there really any peace on earth? Can this royal birth give us peace of mind despite the conflict and violence we read and see and hear about? You bet! Come and hear about it when Pastor Jeff preaches “Peace on Earth” based on Luke 2: 8-14 at 8:30 and 11 at John McMillan Presbyterian Church. We will look forward to seeing you!