Peace on Earth

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#54: “Peace on Earth”
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Luke 2:1-21

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

John 14:27
27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Philippians 4:7
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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Paz en la tierra
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December 21, 2013
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Peace on Earth

“Peace on Earth” is episode #54 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on December 24, 1988.


The Barclays forget the true meaning of Christmas.


It's the afternoon of Christmas Eve, and Whit's End is bustling with customers. Connie, Eugene, and especially Whit are rushing around frantically. He has packages left to wrap, phone calls to family members to make, church programs to participate in, and the Barclay family to visit. Tom comes in and literally makes Whit slow down. The customers slowly dissipate, and Whit and Tom enjoy the splendor and quiet of freshly fallen snow on Odyssey.

After the church services that evening, Whit and Eugene visit with the Barclay family. George boasts of the wonderful Christmas they've prepared for the kids that year, while Jimmy obsesses over his presents. Whit tries to remind them of the reason for the season, just as he was reminded earlier by Tom. George assures Whit that they always take a few moments during the day to read the Christmas story. Then Mary brings in hot chocolate, mugs are lifted, and good wishes are shared by all.

The next morning, George and Mary are awakened by Jimmy and Donna, who want to get downstairs and open some presents. The family rises and goes downstairs — only to find an empty living room! They've been robbed — cleaned out completely! The thieves even took their Christmas dinner!

The family is upset and gloomy until George reminds them that God kept them safe through the ordeal. They still have each other. The family decides to make the best of this bad situation, and George pulls out his Bible. He starts to read the Christmas story.

Then, the citizens of Odyssey show up and show them God's love.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Tom want Whit to slow down?
  2. Why was Connie so eager to celebrate Christmas?
  3. How does your family celebrate Christmas?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Jana Whittaker-Dowd John Whittaker
Jenny Whittaker-Dowd John Whittaker
Monty Whittaker John Whittaker
Leonard Meltsner Eugene Meltsner
June Kendall Connie Kendall
Pastor Williams Connie Kendall


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] During the broadcast intro for this episode, Chris has some men deliver her Christmas tree. Their names are Fred and Barney, a reference to The Flintstones. These characters would later reappear in the episode intros for #98: “The Visitors” and #116: “Isaac the Benevolent”.

  • The original concept for this episode dealt solely with Whit being too busy to enjoy Christmas. Chuck Bolte came up with the idea of the Barclays getting robbed, and Paul McCusker blended the two stories together.
  • Paul McCusker would later note the importance of his episode in defining the relationship of accountability that Whit and Tom would be shown to have with each other as the series progressed, pointing out that Tom was the only one who could get away with chastising Whit as he does in this episode. This would later be seen in episodes such as #462: “The W.E.”.
  • David Harley's twenty-five episode absence is mentioned in his brief cameo appearance when George asks him, "What are you doing here?"
  • Listen carefully during the first few scenes for background dialogue from other shows: first, Leslie and Cindy Hanson talking in #43: “Back to School”; second, Shirley Zigler and Jake Barns in #10: “Nothing to Fear”.
  • When the town comes to help the Barclays after they've been robbed, George says, "I've never seen anything like this before!" Jimmy remarks, "I saw it in a movie once." This is a reference to the movie It's a Wonderful Life.
Main article: List of It’s a Wonderful Life References



Tom Riley: Whit, sometimes I'm not sure about that boy.

Eugene Meltsner: Greetings and felicitations of the season.
Tom Riley: I figured as much.

Eugene Meltsner: Happy Holidays, Connie.
Connie Kendall: Merry Christmas, Eugene. I'd hug you too, but I don't have time for the explanation of the process.

Tom Riley: John Avery Whittaker, now I want you to stop for a minute. You're goin' like a house afire. It's just not like you to get caught up in this Christmas rush.

Jimmy Barclay: What a terrible, rotten Christmas!
Donna Barclay: You forgot horrible. It's a terrible, horrible, rotten Christmas!
Jimmy Barclay: Yeah, that too.