Marriage and Family: The PEACE of ChristmasDecember 23, 2015
Christmas means different things to different people. For some, Christmas is taking time off, giving and receiving presents, gathering with family, eating tons of food, playing games, looking at lights, rooms filled with ribbons and bows, with kids getting up very early after parents have stayed up very late assembling toys. There is nothing like Christmas. And in the midst of all the family, friends and fun, we want to remind us all that Christmas is also about PEACE!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6)
So just for a moment, in the midst of all that happens around Christmas, we hope this blog will remind you that Christ came to give us peace. Let's turn our attention to the Joseph, Mary and shepherds. Perhaps today, you can find yourself in their stories and ultimately find peace for whatever it is you are facing today.
Just imaging the emotions Joseph must have been going through. After all, he just found out his betrothed wife is pregnant. He had to feel betrayed disgraced and rejected. And what about the scandal to his family name? What is he suppossed to do with the anger, the hurt, the pain? And in the midst of all of this - God shows up and says “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." (Matt 1:20).
And then there's Mary. Oh what she must have been going through! Can you imagine the confusion and uncertainty of what she was told? For certain, life can change in an instant and all of a sudden Mary found herself right in the midst of life not going like she thought it would - and God shows up and says “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
The shepherds are facing some of the same "what is going on here?" dilema! And God shows up and says:
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying “Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:10-14)
So this Christmas, we pray you experience, just like Joseph, Mary and the shepherds, the Prince of Peace which is Jesus Christ. How do you do this? Perhaps this prayer will help!
Lord, I thank you for coming so that I might have peace, true and lasting peace that only you can give. Thank you for real peace that shows up right in the middle of life when things go wrong. Grant me today, Lord, your peace. Thank you that your peace shows up when I don't understand, your peace shows up when I'm far away, your peace shows up when I'm all alone, your peace shows up when I don't know what to do, your peace that shows up in the midst of my confusion and not knowing how things will turn out. Your peace that says to my soul "fear not, for I am with you!" I worship you this Christmas for you are "immanuel" who is God with me! I bless your name today, I proclaim my dependence upon you and I surrender my life to your plan for me. Thank you Jesus, for being my "Prince of Peace!"Amen.
May you, our friends, truly experience the peace of Christ this Christmas.
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