It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
I love Christmas and everything that goes with it: the delicious foods, giving gifts, nostalgic music, the Christmas gatherings, and decorating my house with my family. Each year, we get up the day after Thanksgiving (which is the proper time to start decorating for Christmas) and start pulling out the Christmas boxes from storage. Wearing our Christmas pajamas, we decorate our tree, hang stockings, put up lights and garland, and set out our nativity set.
It seems that after the first day of the holiday season, life gets a little more hectic. Because we love Christmas so much, we put pressure on ourselves to make it the “Best Christmas Ever.” Sometimes I feel like more time is spent making Christmas plans and preparations than actually celebrating.
As I sit here and write this, I don’t have a single gift purchased. I’ve already missed all the “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” sales. It’s easy for me to feel like I’m already behind and the Christmas season has barely started.
It is a bit ironic that during this season of peace, many people feel especially frazzled, overwhelmed and anxious. Between strained family relationships, crazy-busy schedules, and over-the-top gift expectations, even the calmest of people can become rattled.
In the midst of the Christmas bustle it is easy to lose sight of the fact that, as believers in Christ, the God of peace is truly with us. Perhaps that is why Advent became a priority to the church.
To find the beginning of Advent celebrations you have to look all the way back to the 5th Century. Hundreds of years ago, peace was something that the early Christians wanted to focus their hearts around during Christmas. Maybe it’s because they knew something that we still struggle with today. During this beautiful, yet pressure filled and hectic season, it’s easy to lose sight of peace.
On the sacred night of Jesus’ birth, the angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14) Their announcement was a gospel message. It was a message of good news to all of us.
Good news, because the one who would bring peace between God and mankind was born.
Good news, because Jesus, who grew up living a sinless life, willingly gave His life for us on the cross.
The cross was the ultimate victory, providing peace with God through Jesus’ sacrifice. But the peace God offers us, does’t end there. After Jesus ascended to heaven, God did not leave us here alone to try to figure out life. He gave us his Spirit.
In the Gospel of John, we read about Jesus preparing to go to the cross on our behalf. He reminded his disciples that the Father would send the comforter, the Holy Spirit, to give us peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27).
Think about it, the very same Spirit of God who brought order from chaos when the universe was formed is the Spirit within us! Certainly, He can bring peace to our disordered hearts and our frazzled minds.
So when you feel anxious or overwhelmed, remember this simple yet powerful phrase: “The God of peace is in me.”
May the God of Peace calm our chaos this busy season.
May we accept the good news of peace proclaimed by the angels about Jesus our Savior and truly take it to heart.
May the gift of the Holy Spirit fill us with peace as He leads and guides us.
May the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit give us a new perspective of peace this Christmas.
“May The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” (Romans 15:33)
This post is the first of four Advent themed writings for the Christmas 2022 season.
Next week: Hope