Are you feeling it yet? The Christmas rush? In just a few short weeks, we’ll fill our days with more activity and events than we do the rest of the year. Attending office parties, shopping for presents, decorating the house, baking cookies, attending plays and concerts—I’m worn out just from thinking about it!
Not only are our calendars full but our expectations for the season are high. We have to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. We can’t forget a single tradition and what’s more, we have to make this year’s celebration better than the last. We want our kids to remember every moment, smile for every picture, and love every gift.
In all the rushing to create the perfect Christmas for our family, we often forget the reason for the season. Rather than feeling merry, we are stressed, exhausted, and frustrated. Rather than a silent night, tensions are high and the arguments are many. Instead of peace on earth, there’s anxiety and turmoil in our heart.
In truth, the craziness of Christmas reminds us that we need someone to rescue us from ourselves!
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:8-14)
A miraculous, amazing, and fantastic thing took place over two thousand years ago. God’s promise to Adam and Eve back in Genesis 3 was about to come true. The curtains were pulled back and the story of redemption unfolded for all who had eyes to see. The angels looked on with wonder and couldn’t help but sing and rejoice. “Good new of great joy!”
The Son of God living among us? Who would’ve thought? But that’s not all. Jesus didn’t come just to live among us, he came to do something. He came to redeem and restore what was broken. He came to heal the hurting, find the lost, free the bound, and save sinners. He came to bring peace on earth. But not just any peace, the peace that comes from knowing God and being known by him. The peace of redemption. That’s what Isaiah meant when he referred to Jesus as the Prince of Peace, “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” (9:6).
When the shepherds came to worship the Christ-child, they told Mary all that the angels had said. Her response? “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
What if our Christmas season involved more pondering and treasuring? What if we paused to think, consider, wonder, and meditate on what it means that Jesus is the Prince of Peace? What if this Christmas we fixed our eyes on Jesus and rested in what he came to do for us?
There were many that night who missed the most miraculous event in history. May we not go through the whole Christmas season and miss the opportunity to wonder at the Christ-child. Rather than fill our calendars, let’s take time to treasure and ponder what it means that God became man. Instead of stressing over the details and worrying about our checklists, let’s marvel over a King born not in a palace but in a stable. Rather than rushing from one thing to the next, let’s sing and rejoice with all our heart, “Glory to God in the highest!”
This Christmas, let us seek to know the One who is our Christmas peace.