I recently heard a line on a modern Christmas song that went something like this, "What if December looked different this year?" And pondering that lyric, I realized for many people December looks very different this year. Even for our family, December looks different in light of Dad's recent job loss. Unemployment, illness, death, financial insecurity, strife and conflict afflict families across the nation and world. Doubt, fear, stress, worry steal the joy of Christmas and rob us of "peace of earth". Some people feel like they have nothing to celebrate Christmas morning as they mourn the loss of a loved one or face frightening situations.
Where is peace on earth?
Well, to be truthful, there is no peace on earth. Look around you...wars, rumors of wars, divisions in the church, fighting between family and friends, the list goes on. There is no peace on earth.
But there can be peace within our hearts. God, our loving Father sent His perfect, holy, only Son to save us, to become one of us. Jesus gave it all up: all the comforts and honors of being the prize jewel of all creation. He put aside His kingly garments and clothed Himself with...flesh; He joined humanity and became man (yet was fully God) to give us peace on earth. He made a way to the Fatherthrough the cross and "peace that passes all understanding". (Philippians 4:7) He became our peace. "Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1) Through the gift of salvation purchased by Jesus' blood, the peace Christ gives dwells in our hearts.
When we trust God fully and cast our cares upon Him, truly the peace that passes all understanding is ours. Mom used to have this quote on the fridge: "Look at the world and be distressed. Look within, and be depressed. Look at God and be at rest." Yes, only in God can true peace can be found.
"May the peace of God that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds this Christmas season and always. Amen"