Christ offers hope and peace for a Holy Day instead of just a holiday.
The line snaked around the inside of the building. Angry voices raised in protest as people jostled to maintain their spot. An argument broke out over a popular toy down one of the aisles. Music blared overhead, and I stopped as I heard the words of the John Lennon song, “So this is Christmas.” I deeply sighed as I realized this is what Christmas has become for so many of us. Anger, frustration, dread, waiting and wanting now dominate this season of joy. What happened to change our hearts from celebrating Christmas as a sacred event into a commercialized nightmare?
Isaiah 9:6 “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.” (NIV)
Isaiah prophesies about the birth of Jesus in this verse, and his words hold such beauty within them. They offer a glimpse of the real meaning of Christmas. Christ will be called Wonderful, Mighty, Everlasting and Peaceful. These words provide such a contrast from the chaotic holiday season we experience today. As I read the verse over, calmness settles over me, and I sense a change in my spirit. Christ offers hope and peace for a Holy Day instead of just a holiday.
Christ will be the Wonderful Counselor. This descriptive term echoes a peacefulness, which is lacking in our Christmas season today. My vision of a wonderful counselor sees a loving God sitting next to me as He listens with a caring heart. His presence offers comfort. This babe in the manager will be the eternal hope as His wisdom guides our steps on the path of life.
Isaiah 28:29 “This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.” (ESV)
He is a Mighty God and Everlasting Father. When Isaiah wrote these words, unrest, and wars filled his world, much like our world today. The Jewish people of that day looked for a mighty warrior to come and save them from those who sought to destroy them. Instead, the King of Kings arrived as a tiny baby. His true nature lay hidden under the swaddling clothes in the lowly manger. This Mighty God, the creator of the universe and every living thing, left His throne in heaven to come to earth. He came to teach us love and peace. Much of the world missed His message because they looked for a warrior God. Jesus offered life eternal with Him as our Everlasting Father to those who accepted His message. He calls us to love and live in peace with our neighbors. It is still a radical message today.
Luke 22:69 “But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” (NIV)
Our God is the Prince of Peace. Ah, peace! My soul longs for God’s peace in my life and world this Christmas season. I long to spend time in a church lighted only by candles, sing the old, traditional carols, and feel God’s presence settle the busyness of my heart. I want to make memories that will last longer than any gift I could buy for my family. Peace is the thing the entire world desires but does not know how to find. Jesus gives lasting peace to His people. He gives us peace for today, peace for Christmas and peace for all eternity.
Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Make time for the Peace of Christ to invade your Christmas season this year. Schedule quiet family time. Read the Christmas story as a family. Share the Love of Christ with a lonely neighbor. Give back to your community. I wish you a Merry and Peace filled Christmas.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, our hearts long for Your peace during the stressful holidays. The world offers us only worry and fear each day. Help us to experience the real meaning of Christmas this year. Help us not to look at things to comfort us but to turn to You alone. Grant us Your peace and lighten the burdens of our life. Let us always remember the gift of your Son each and every day. May the light of the first star of Christmas shine on us and remind us of your love. Amen
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”