The Second Gift of Christmas – Peace

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, how can we find the true gifts of Christmas? This is the second week of Advent and the focus is on the gift of Peace.

Peace can be elusive at times, can’t it? Scripture exhorts us to “Seek peace and pursue it.” In other words, it is not something that happens by itself. We have to take ACTION to achieve peace.

I have resolved to have peace during the stressful times of the holiday season and end of the year. For me, that means cutting back on activities, gift buying, wrapping and giving, downsizing my decorating and spending more time at home and with God. It is all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of the world so I need to make a conscious decision to pull away.

Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and pressured by it all? If so, what kinds of actions can you do today, dear one, to bring more peace into your life? An easy thing to do is to sit down, take a deep breath, and behold the gift of Peace. Envision the shepherds on the hill so many years ago gazing at the star in the sky. Or reflect on the manger scene with the Christ child.

Peace is within us if we stop to observe. Until next time, may the peace of God guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus as you surrender to Him this season.

The First Gift of Christmas

This past sunday began the season of Advent. Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. It is a time of expectation, anticipation, and yes, hope. In Christian circles, Advent is a time to focus on the true gifts of Christmas – hope, peace, joy and love.

This week the focus is on the gift of hope. What do you place your hope in, dear one? Your job, your significant other, your children, or yourself possibly? Sadly, as we all know, each of these can and will disappoint us.

But there is one person who will never disappoint, and his name is Jesus. Yes, Jesus – the Messiah, the Christ child. Jesus is the reason for the season. It is not the shopping, the decorating, the food preparation, or even the giving of gifts. It is Jesus who brings us the true gifts that will last forever.

Have you lost hope in something or someone? Did some event not materialize the way you wanted it to? Or perhaps some person or situation failed you? I encourage you, dear one, to look to Jesus. He, like Coca-Cola, is the real thing. He is the only source of hope we can cling to in this world. When all else fades, Jesus is still there to light our way. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Be filled with hope, dear one, and until next time, keep looking up!