It’s that time of year again when we all begin to panic. Christmas is only a week away, and there is still so much to do! Stress and exhaustion are the norm, and the real reason we are celebrating gets lost in shopping, entertaining and trying to not blow our cool while sitting in traffic or standing in a long checkout line.
This morning, I was listening to Christmas music and a line in “O Holy Night” really struck me as Mariah Carey sang “a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices..” Yes, even then, the world was weary. Women were working hard to support their families, certainly without any modern conveniences. Many were persecuted, and the weight of obeying the law was heavy. They longed for the savior who had been foretold in the early days. Thankfully, Christ came to give all of us hope and peace from stress and overwhelm. As the song says, “He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
Get it? You have worth apart from all the “stuff” of Christmas. You have the privilege of experiencing joy and peace beyond what the world can provide, but you must claim it! Christ came as the Prince of Peace, as told so many times in scripture.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7
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 2:13-14
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30
This Christmas season, claim the peace that Christ came to lavish upon you.
- Peace in your heart. Take time to savor the real reason we celebrate, and let the trivial “stuff” go. Acknowledge and embrace your immense worth, knowing that what’s in your heart is much more important than how you wrap presents or bake cookies.
- Peace and quiet. Start your day spending quiet time with God, thanking Him for your blessings and asking Him to be with you all day long. It is amazing what a difference this makes in your overall attitude!
- Peace in your daily routine. Prioritize your to-do list and focus only on the things that are truly important. Ask your family what traditions are most meaningful and let the others go. Pace yourself and admit that some things just won’t get done…and that’s okay! Stop and breathe deeply throughout the day, allowing peace to return to your soul.
- Peace in your relationships. As you interact with family, friends, co-workers and those who are serving you in the stores, think of the Fruits of the Spirit and let them shine through you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Memorize and repeat as needed!)
- Peace on earth. The world is in such chaos now, so it is more important than ever to pray for peace on earth. Ultimately, we know that God is in control, but it is hard to understand how things can be in such a mess. However, we can find hope in these words:
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 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 14:25-27
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13