Luke 2:13-14 – Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”
Gratitude Day 796
Tomorrow begins the second week of Advent, which often embraces the idea of PEACE.
I always find it a bit ironic that PEACE is such an important part of Advent when Advent often feels anything but peaceful. Too often, these next few weeks feel simply too full.
Where is the PEACE in this?
Interestingly, I’m not sure that Mary, the mother of Jesus, thought that first Christmas, ushered in with the birth of her first son, Jesus, had anything that looked very peaceful about it. Here she was, pregnant but not yet married. Imagine trying to convince your finance that you simply became pregnant by God! Well into your pregnancy, you discover that you have to travel to your finance’s hometown of Bethlehem, a several days trip from your remote little village of Nazareth. And because you are engaged to him, you must go on the journey as well.
This is how Mary finds herself mucking her way to Bethlehem, only to arrive there and discover every hotel and motel and housing situation possible are plum filled up. And, oh, by the way, Joseph, the baby is coming. Tonight.
None of this sounds very PEACEFUL to me.
Yet, this is exactly how a young teenaged Mom brought her first baby into the world. Right next to the cows and the donkey and the chickens. Fortunately, this stable had a manger which now became her baby’s crib.
Seriously, maybe our peaceless lives need re-evaluation.
Of course, the point is not to determine who has had the most awful and difficult run up to Christmas. The point is, “How can we find peace this Christmas?”
Once again, we find an answer in the story of the first Christmas. In fine fashion, God orchestrated who would be Jesus’ first visitors. No one would have expected a bunch of stinky and smelly shepherds, but this is who God chooses. They are out in the cold, dark night making sure their owner’s sheep are being taken care of. Imagine the shock and awe when a heavenly band of angels showed up and announced the long-awaited Messiah’s birth.
Notice how they proclaimed this amazing news:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,” (the angels) sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”
The angels and God knew that Jesus’ life would have a lot more drama than peace in it. Yet, it’s the angels who declare that this baby named Jesus brings with him the hope for world peace.
Ambitious? You bet. God is never afraid of big and fairy audacious ambitions. Peace on earth feel impossible and overwhelming? Certainly. But this does not slow God down one bit from wanting peace everywhere. Nope, God declares through the angels that peace is what would please God the most.
PEACE. Shouldn’t this please us as well?
I pray so.
Today, I’m sharing a few things that I pray will bring a little peace into your life this Advent.
A CHRISTMAS PAYLIST
I’ve put together some of my favorite Christmas songs this year and created a playlist for us to enjoy! Just click on the link and you’ll have 10 Christmas songs that you can play on repeat. There are traditional songs, new songs, new renditions of old Christmas songs. A little bit of everything. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have been! Or create your own favorite Christmas playlist and enjoy!
THE PEACE OF A NATIVITY
One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a Christmas nativity. I have several different ones that I put out every year. And they remind me of peace. Put one up, even if it is just the little characters from when you were a child. Then, every day, stop by the nativity. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Fill your heart and soul with peace. I challenge you not to find peace in that nativity.
CLOSE YOUR DAY WITH PEACE
No matter what has happened throughout the day or how tired you may be, take one minute, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Feel the air come into your heart and body and bring you peace. Now, thank God for the things that you were able to attend to for the day and ask God to take the things that might not have gotten done and hold them for you until another day. This only takes one minute. But it may be the best minute of your day.
PEACE is one of those words that I think is challenging. What is peaceful to you may not be peaceful to someone else. Embrace the ways your heart and soul find peace. Make them part of your Advent tradition this week. Remember how the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest heaven and peace on earth.”
We long for that peace. Amazingly, we can also be the ones who usher in this peace. Let’s be BOTH this Advent.
For the opportunity find PEACE this Advent, I am grateful.
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