A Holy Day or a Holiday?

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 offers hope and peace for a Holy Day instead of just a holiday. Click To Tweet

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.

Jesus came to teach us love and peace. Click To Tweet

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

Jesus gives us peace for today, peace for Christmas and peace for all eternity. Click To Tweet

Blessings,

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.”


Additional Resources:

Prayers for the Holidays

Christmas Peace

Feeling Lonely at Christmas

 

26 thoughts on “A Holy Day or a Holiday?

  1. stephaniemgammon

    I can hear the Lennon song in my head now. I often wonder what joy the Christmas season can possibly hold to those who don’t know the JOY that Christ brings to us. Without him it is so empty and meaningless. Beautiful post, Yvonne.

  2. I just love learning more about these characteristics of Jesus! I often think it makes perfect sense that Israel expected a warrior king, as they had had many people who led them to victory in their past. But the fact that God had another plan for how He would rescue us helps me understand once again that God’s ways are not my ways!

  3. twelve2nds

    Is it just because we live in a consumerist culture that we get so unpeaceful this time of year? You’re so right. We have a holy day set aside where peace is the goal and we turn it into angst.
    I think taking quiet time with our families where we deliberately turn off the screens and be present with each other is life giving. Even if it’s boring for the kids. Unplugging needs to be a routine part of what we do as believers.

  4. Yvonne, I appreciated your post and particularly two comments. The first being, “Christ offers hope and peace for a Holy Day instead of just a holiday.” It is a great reminder that it is considerably more than a holiday, but rather it is a very holy day that we should be reverentially celebrating. And the second comment I really appreciated was, Jesus gives us peace for today, peace for Christmas and peace for all eternity.” This sense of peace, combined with anticipation of Christ’s arrival, should be permitting our Advent celebration. Yet, sadly it is far more common that we get pulled into the long line ups, Christmas jingles, traffic, business, buying. May God’s peace reign in our hearts throughout this advent season.

  5. I do get so stressed during the holidays. One thing that has helped is agreeing with family NOT to exchange gifts… at least among the adults. We get gifts for the kids for the most part & that relieves a lot of stress and allows more time to focus on less commercial things… like community & Jesus. 🙂

    1. Yvonne

      Great plan to take away some of the stress. I used to really stress over cards, so I stopped sending them. I do messages online now. I want to celebrate not stress.

  6. Yes, Yvonne! So thankful that even though this is our present reality, “celebrating Christmas as a sacred event into a commercialized nightmare,” I know true Peace. Because Peace has a name…Jesus!

  7. Hi Yvonne. Not sure I can imagine an extended duration when I just rest in the peace of God with the Savior who took all the necessary steps to make it possible. Seems I typically enjoy that peace in spurts, until the next urgent matter captures my attention. Thank you for this encouragement to keep Christmas holy and let peace invade our celebrations.

  8. Dear Yvonne, this is a wonderful post that digs in hard reminding us of the beautiful truth of why Jesus came. The contrast that you described between what this worldly season has become and what God accomplished according to scripture is startling and helps me want to take pause and make this the Holy Day it is and always was. God bless you!

  9. I agree with you, Yvonne. I have started this season with the victory of Jesus in Revelation. I noticed myself walking slowly yesterday vs. running half hazard trying to get stuff done. Focusing on Christ and seeing Him as the Lion of Judah, the Root of David, victorious, and worthy has changed my pace this year. Loved your blog! I can so resonate with it! 🙂

  10. Real Christians have no reason at all to join this commercial circus, because why should they celebrate the birth of Jesus on a day he was not born, but have their festival on the day of the goddess of light?
    What have Christmas trees, Santa Claus, reindeer and all that fuss to do with the birth of the son of God?

    Yvonne it is nice you may e,joy Jesus but if you wan to celebrate his birth do it than on the day he was born (October 17, 4BCE). But do remember we should not as such remember that birthday by remember his last supper and the exodus of Egypt (that are the two given set apart or holy days God has given, namely 14 and 15 Nisan).

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