By Rachel Tiemeyer
Do you experience any or all of these definitions of “peace” during the Christmas season each year?
I am (sadly) laughing at the thought of that in my own life. For me, the Advent season is often characterized by hurry, overspending, overeating, unmet expectations, and exhaustion. If we’re honest, “the most wonderful time of the year” can sometimes be “the most anxiety-inducing time of the year,” right?
An army of advertisers, social media posts, and store displays invades our life beginning in early fall. And this army ushers us toward an unending pursuit of holiday happiness, proclaiming that we need “more”—more presents, more decorations, more matching family pajamas, more recipes and cocktails, more, more, more. We never have enough.
To the normal holiday season stressors, add the heavy layers of Covid-19 and the political division of 2020. Is peace even an option this Christmas? Can this season actually be life-giving, despite all the challenges we face?
Peace on earth
Maybe you remember the apex of the Christmas story, when an army of angels flood the dark night sky above some lowly shepherds. Can you even imagine how brilliantly bright and gloriously beautiful the chorus must have been? What did that host of angels sing?
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
A different kind of army came when Jesus was born. This army came to usher in the Prince of Peace. To proclaim the one who came to repair our broken lives and our broken world. To rejoice over the one who came to lay down his life, so we could have a new, peace-filled life.
Jesus came to make a way for us to not only experience peace this holiday season, but for all our days. He invites you and me—any who are weighed down—to come to him for what our souls long for…
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God sent his son to Earth on this mission for you—to die for all your wrongdoings and rise again, so that you might have peace with God forever. The only path to true happiness this holiday season and every season is resting in that good news.
Do you want to experience peace this holiday season?
Lift up your gaze from social media, Amazon, and store displays that all promise holiday happiness but never really deliver. Lift up your gaze from worry-inducing COVID news and the political division around us. And, instead, set your focus on Jesus, the Prince of Peace, where you will find rest for your soul.
Here are 3 ways to focus on Jesus this Christmas season:
- “Prepare the way of the Lord”, as John the Baptist taught before Jesus came on the scene. Identify ways that you’ve turned away from God or made other things in your life more important than him. Tell him you’re sorry and that you want to turn toward him this Advent season.
- Read through a bit of the Christmas story each day and spend a few minutes journaling or reflecting on it. You can find the story in Matthew 1:18-25, 2:1-12 and in Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-20. What do you learn about God through this narrative?
- Pick up a book that can help you consistently focus on Christ during Advent. A few recommendations are:
- Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller
Are you looking for more ways to prepare your heart for the the Christmas season? Click below to subscribe have The Coming King Advent Devotional delivered to your inbox every weekday in December.