Sunday, December 1, 2013

For to us a child is born, 
to us a child is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.  
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6

For most of us, December is a month of frenzied holiday hustle and bustle.  And all too often, December 26th arrives, and we are suddenly hit with the sinking reality that the Christmas season has passed us by, yet again, in the blink of an eye.  One moment we are joyfully celebrating the season with all our hearts, souls, and minds; only a moment later, Christmas is clearanced, as Valentines Day fills those void shelves.  If we put our hopes solely in this season, we will be let down every time.  Instead, this Christmas season, let us reflect on the reason for the season; the arrival of the Prince of Peace.  I know peace well, because I have been on the hunt for it for years.  Once upon a time, I greatly cherished my quiet, peaceful hours after work; they were a great treasure to me.  And then we decided to have a child or six.  When the kids were young, there were still a few peaceful hours to be had, at a glorious time also known as naptime.  But as the children grew, my dismay grew as naptime all but disappeared and I seemingly kissed any and all quiet, peaceful moments goodbye indefinately in a house of 6 very busy children, 4 of them all noise and dirt, also known as boys.  For many years, I was on this fruitless hunt for a peaceful and quiet moment that I couldn't will to exist, no matter how hard I tried; I couldn't wake up earlier then them, since they woke up at the first ray of sun in the sky, and by their bedtime, I was collapsing from exhaustion myself.  I was beaten; I realized my hunt for peace was futile.  And then mercifully, the Prince of Peace intervened and turned my thinking rightside up, as he taught me the truth about peace.  The peace He brings is not that in the midst of the most perfect of circumstances.  When news of the Messiah being born reached the people, a future of peace was celebrated.  When our King and Savior was revealed, most believed that chaos and strife would cease forever under His sovereign rule.  And what shock and disappointment followed when he died on the cross instead; it appeared that their chance of peace had slipped right out of their hands and died on that cross with Jesus.  But what no doubt was great commotion and grief actually became a finished work, as Jesus overcame death and the world.  The peace He has gifted us with is not the feeling we have on those Christmases of our lives; on the contrary, it is the peace we can and will find on those despairing clearanced-Christmas days that too quickly follow suit.  Life's troubles may take a holiday hiatus, but when they come back-and they a freight train, He promises us a peace that surpasses all understanding.   I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:33  This season and all seasons, praise God for sending us the Prince of Peace!  And praise Jesus for the gift of peace he has made complete; a  peace that coexists in the craziest of chaos; a peace found in even the most lowly of places; the peace of our hearts as they rest permanantly in the quiet place with Him.