Christmas Peace

Thanksgiving to Christmas is a busy time of year. It's a lot of fun, and it's really busy. There's Christmas parties to be had, Christmas movies to watch, end of the year results that need to be met at work, presents to be wrapped, cards to be made, cookies to be decorated, and in the Thiel house there's another national holiday during this season, my wife's birthday. As I am saying all this you may be thinking of your own to do list so I hope I didn't distract you too much. I'm even thinking about what we need to do this afternoon. We gotta get those Christmas cards finished up.

But in this holiday season lets remember what it means for Jesus to be born on Christmas Day. Isaiah 9:6 gives us a clue of what to watch for when Jesus arrives.

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 9:6)

Let's focus on the fact that the Bible says that when Jesus is born he will be the Prince of Peace. Let's ask a few question about this peace.

Why is peace good? Peace is desired as a good thing because of how bad wars are. Before I start a war by bringing up the topic of war, let's narrow it down right away to the war that we have within us. We all know the types of war that wage in our hearts. We get overwhelmed or we get angry or we get anxious and we don't like it. We feel it coming on and we try everything we can to fix it but yet the war wages on. Peace is good because it's the opposite of that. Instead of being anxious or overwhelmed or angry or bitter or frustrated or despair, we have peace. My dictionary app says that peace is a state of tranquility. If we've experienced peace in our hearts we know that it is good.

Why is peace so difficult to achieve? Peace is difficult to achieve because the wars that wage within us (like anxiety for example) are rooted in our desire to try to meet some deadline, or some standard. We feel pressure because we are expected to have those Christmas cards in the mail by a certain date, or have the house decorated a certain way, or family that expects us to be certain places at certain times, and the kids need to behave well. Our anxieties to not fail, our anxieties to appease people points to a deeper issue that needs to be exposed. Deep down, our anxieties, and our lack of peace stems from our relationship with God. We are at war in our hearts because in a subtle way we are trying win our way back into God's favor. Our relationship with God is broken and we are trying to fix it. We try to fix it in the little things everyday.

If Jesus was born to be the Prince of Peace, how do we get this peace?

[19] For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)

This peace is offered to us because Jesus waged a war on our behalf. Jesus waged the war and won by dying on the cross and shedding his blood. Peace comes to us through Jesus who reconciled us to God. See, all the things we do subconsciously to prove ourselves or justify our existence or try to impress our neighbor or family or the things we chase that we hope will solve our despair feelings, all these things were dealt with on the cross.

How? By reconciling us to God. When we feel pressure, and lack that peaceful feeling, know this, you are loved by God more than you know because you have been reconciled to him and that reconciliation is complete. Jesus has been made peace through the shedding of blood.

This coming week when you feel overwhelmed remember that the war between you and God is actually over in a final way. You've been reconciled to God. Apply this Truth to the area that you are most anxious about or in despair over.

The best place to start is by telling God the anxieties and frustrations and disappointments of your heart and to remind yourself and God in prayer how there is peace because Jesus conquered that on the cross. Let's do that now in prayer.