Every Christmas the tree’s light up, carols play, the stockings are hung, the zoo is overcrowded, and every store in the city is nearly impossible to walk into. During this time that represents the birth of Christ we often find ourselves lost in “chaos.” Do I have enough money for presents? Do I want to see my family? Why do I have to work on Christmas? Do I have to travel to see my in-laws every year? The holiday becomes less about him (Christ) and more about us. We become so busy and distracted with everyday life that we feel we don’t have the time for Jesus. The holidays give us tunnel vision and we get stuck just going through the motions. We make sure to stay religious. We send out Christmas cards that say, “God Bless” and hang all the advent bible verses around the house. We even make sure to attend the candlelight services at church. But while doing all of this, we are overcome by stress hoping we can get to every party on time or, for some, wishing they were not alone as everyone else is with someone. What we are losing out on is our peace portion.
No matter how chaotic the Christmas time gets there is one thing we must always remember. Christ is our Prince of Peace! Peace is a hard word to think of when life feels like it’s flying by and we can’t stop it. No one I know sits peacefully in bumper to bumper traffic, but we need to understand that peace is not the absence of chaos. Peace is accepting Jesus as greater than our chaos and believing with him we are safe. There can always be peace within our chaos but never chaos within our peace.
In Matthew 4 the disciples and Jesus were in a boat going across a lake. Jesus laid sleeping in the back of the boat as a huge storm came and began to sink it. The disciples cried out to Jesus afraid they would die. And Jesus, woke from his sleep, looked out at the storm and with full authority spoke the words, “Peace! Be still!”(ESV) and everything ceased. Jesus with three words shut down a storm that could have destroyed the boat he was resting in. His choice of words “peace” followed by “be still.” When Jesus speaks peace over our lives we need not worry. He just wants us to be still and when we live our lives with Jesus the storms/chaos around us cannot destroy us. Chaos bows down to Jesus it has no authority over him!
So, what does this have to do with Christmas? Jesus came as a baby. He came as a symbol of innocence. This child born to a virgin mother and carpenter father represented the birth of peace into a world of chaos. The moment he opened up his first cry - Jesus resounded that peace was now here for the world. His life will allow every generation to have everlasting peace as long as they place their trust in him. Jesus told the disciples in John 14, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” The peace of Christ is greater than any amount of chaos we can experience in this world. This peace is a gift. So, this Christmas season let’s accept this gift of peace and not allow the holiday chaos to distract us from the greatest peace we can ever experience.
Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Father, during this season where we choose to reflect on the birth of your son Jesus, we pray for a deeper understanding of your peace. May we not allow the chaos of this world to distract us, but may we walk confidently in the peace you have given us through your son. Let us not worry, but with boldness press forward in your will for our lives. Even if we are unsure of what’s next in our life may we focus on your peace and continue to walk in faith. Help us to be still and be confident that you are God over all things. You have authority over everything and may we find our hope in you and you alone! Father thank you for the gift of your son. Thank you that we can use this Christmas season to gather with friends and family in remembrance of your goodness. Amen.