Peace on Earth, a Christmas Message

Dear Friends,

I suppose this has been the wish of mankind since the fall of man. But history shows our human inability to forge lasting peace. Peace occasionally breaks out amid the relentless tumults of war. It is confined and temporary, with war often waging just beyond our horizon—or within our own hearts.

 During the American Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reflected, “ ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said. 'For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men.'” As he looked at the toll that war took on his family, his community, and his nation, he concluded that on earth, peace is not found. But he concluded his poem “I Heard the Bells” in faith, saying, “God is not dead: nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men!”

So much of this world is touched by war and violence. The news overflows with reports of terrorism, crime, and police actions. Cameras have no difficulty finding a raging cast for their newsreels. But beyond the cameras, out of sight in the surrounding neighborhoods, people thirst for peace.

And some find it.

This year, more people, speaking more languages, in more communities than any previous time in history, have God’s Word in their heart language. Hundreds of languages began Bible translation this year because of your encouragement, stewardship, and prayers. Hundreds of languages have Christ’s story, the Christmas story, in their own language for the first time in their history!

Translating Christ’s story into more languages, touching hearts in every tribe and nation, is the only path toward greater peace on earth. We all need the Prince of Peace. Thank you for sharing in spreading peace—in our time and for eternity!

Bruce Smith
President/CEO of Wycliffe Associates