The good news Jesus came to bring was the message of peace. We don’t appreciate the depth of this gospel so we try to decorate it like it’s a Christmas tree—turn the bad side to the corner so that no one will remember it’s there. Put a lot of lights on it to hide the parts that are bare—crowd it with ornaments to fake a festivity we don’t feel. But if we don’t appreciate the message of peace, it’s probably because we don’t understand it. We think “peace” is the same as “quiet”. Our version of “peace” is more like boredom at best and avoidance and apathy at its worst.
But peace is incredible news. This Christmas, we need to hear it with fresh ears. How can we love peace when our efforts in Christmas preparation involve indulging our consumerism and our own fears of being unlovable? Peace goes against the anxiety of the holidays. Peace flies in the face of a Christian ritual baptized in materialism.
For most of us, peace is numbness that's been sanctioned by Christian culture. Our idea of peace is to stuff ourselves so full of instant gratification that we have no idea how hungry we really are.
Peace, however, is a gift of discontentment, not contentment.
That’s because peace reminds us that there’s more to life than what we’re experiencing right now. Peace points us to our need for the Divine to interrupt the brokenness of our ordinary lives.
Peace is the promise of new life. Peace is the promise that tomorrow can be different than today.
Peace is the hope that I don’t have to follow the same footsteps I took yesterday. It’s the conviction that mercy is new each morning. Peace gives us courage to break free from the zoo-like confines and live the liberated life we were made to live. Peace is the slow, but steady restoration of the world to its created intent.
Peace is Christ.
There is a new rule. “His law is love and his gospel is peace.”
What have we made the gospel? What do our rituals at Christmas suggest about our understanding of the gospel?
What does my life suggest about my understanding of the gospel?
Today is the day to re-member.
Today is the day to pick up the forgotten message of Peace—the promise of transformation. The gift of reconciliation.
Peace lifts up the ancient Scriptures and breathes the breath of God on each promise. I am more than a conqueror. My hope is in a Rock that is higher than I. God does give more grace. We are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. I do belong to the Creator.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Because of a holy baby’s birth, I am freed from the blue-painted tank to swim in the ocean of God’s sufficiency. I can trade in the recycled air and breathe again.
Christmas is the day we remember to rest in the abundance of grace.
Peace has come. Peace is coming.
Blessed are those who wait.