At some point in our lives, our holiday sentiment begins to shift. For children, Christmas is full of wonder and excitement–a feeling of merriment born out of the sights, smells, and sounds of the season. However, without warning, joyful emotions can diminish, especially during the cynical teenage years. In our adult years, we begin to be more aware of the loss as we long for the nostalgia, the warmth–and, yes, the peace that Christmas previously brought to our hearts.
Perhaps you’ve personally experienced this change and have become more keenly aware of the fact that the world feels it, too. Social media posts beckon us to instructions on “How to Survive the Holidays.” Survive? That doesn’t seem to be the herald of the angels announcing, “Peace on earth, good will to men” (Luke 2:14). But mere survival seems to be the reality of the world around us. Most holidays, we may find ourselves simply trying to “get through it” instead of gleefully counting down the days until Christmas arrives. Whether it’s grief, finances, or simply the busyness of the season, this can be a difficult time of year to be a grownup.
So why is there so much talk about peace at Christmastime? Because at Christmas, we are reminded that we have been given the promise of peace–true peace–that can be found in Christ alone. Jesus Himself spoke much of peace in His time on earth. In fact, peace is the primary “why” behind Jesus’ ministry. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33ESV
This promise of peace was held closely even by those prophets and heroes of the faith who came before us–those in the Old Testament who had no Christmas Day to celebrate. No straw-filled manger. No red-letter Bibles. No cross. No empty grave.
But they had a promise.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6ESV (emphasis added)
The Prince of Peace. This promise of peace is pronounced over Mary in today’s reading when the angel tells her, “Do not be afraid–” (Luke 2:30). How can she possibly have peace in this moment? We need only look back to verse 28 to see. “The Lord is with you.” Emmanuel has come. God with us. Just as He promised. This is how we find peace at Christmas. Because it draws us back to the promise.
Our promise now is the same promise then. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, the Lord is with you–His presence is more real now than when He was lying in Mary’s arms as a baby. The apostle Paul writes about this promise of peace in his letter to the Colossians. “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27NLT
The Prince of Peace has come to reside in your heart. Where your heart is aching, grieving, or burdened by the pressures of the world–take heart. He has overcome the world.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!” 2 Thessalonians 3:16
If you would like to know more about this promise of peace, we would love to talk with you. Just text the name “JESUS” to 901901. Click here to discuss Advent as a family using Fight for Your Family Resources.