Peace I leave
with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not
as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let
it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance
and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]
John 14:27 (AMP)
We are barely past
Thanksgiving expressing gratitude for the many things that God has graciously provided,
and now it is time for Christmas. It is time to celebrate His greatest
provision. “Merry Christmas” is on our lips.
With all the adversity in
the world, it may make being merry seem out of reach. Distractions abound with
busyness and pressure – shopping, partying, entertaining, and decorating. Things
will die down after Christmas, but over-spending, loneliness, and/or emptiness
–possibly even personal tragedy, medical problems, or unexpected relocation of
job or home – interfere with a need for calm - peace.
Jesus made His appearance knowing all our struggles, giving us
a clearer understanding of God, showing His deep love for us, and providing a
way for salvation. Foretold by Isaiah (9:2-7) of the coming Messiah, Jesus was
identified as Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace. In the ninth chapter of Isaiah some of the
purpose for His coming was revealed - giving light in this dark world;
defeating oppression; and lifting heavy burdens. Jesus is the One we celebrate
This historic and heavenly event is journaled in Luke 3.
Shepherds heard the announcement from not just one but many angels.
Sheepherders were invited to visit the baby - to ponder Jesus' lying in a
manger. There was
adoration, astonishment, awe, and peace around the manger! Their
encounter caused them to spread the word of His arrival to other people.
The world needs the Prince of Peace. This Christmas season
take time to close your eyes and imagine gathering around that manager where
Jesus lay with Mary and Joseph. What would you say, think, feel, and
experience? May you know the power of His peace now and year-round as you trust
Him and claim the peace that passes all understanding.
by Joy Pedersen