It’s what we all want, don’t we? Especially at Christmas, the words are everywhere. But what do we mean? Does that mean we don’t want war? What if we aren’t at war, do we still want peace?
I saw something interesting on my closet wall today. A notecard with a prayer for peace. Four years ago, I did a Bible study with a group of women and we had to write out prayer cards: one of which was for peace. At the top of the card, I had written the quote, “Peace is the overall sense of harmony, health and wholeness in the midst of chaos.”
I stopped. Read it again:
Peace is the overall sense of harmony, health and wholeness in the midst of chaos.
…in the midst of chaos.
It caught me. In this year where it feels like chaos has reigned, can we have peace? According to this definition, we can. It isn’t as strange as it seems; for Jesus himself said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”*
That’s the difference, isn’t it? That’s where the definition and the scripture meet. Not as the world gives. In the midst of chaos. His peace. I love that he acknowledges that we are going through something. He tells us not to let our hearts be troubled and not to be afraid. Why? Because he knows we are! He wouldn’t have mentioned it except that he knows we have reason to be troubled, reason to be afraid. But he gives us something to carry us through: his peace. His sense of wholeness in the midst of chaos.
That’s what this Christmas is all about. It doesn’t look like other Christmases. It doesn’t feel like other Christmases. But it can; it can feel like that first Christmas. After Mary had done the hard work of birthing and Joseph had done the hard work of worrying, the three rested in the stable. They soaked in the quiet before their strange visitors showed up. Even in his earliest moments on earth, Jesus gave peace. His peace.
So join me: take a deep breath. Maybe one more. Soak in His presence. Soak in His peace. Do not let your heart be troubled even though Christmas isn’t how any of us want it this year. Do not be afraid even though things are out of our control.
Oh Jesus! I pray for every person reading these words. Wherever they are. I pray that your Holy Spirit would be with them in a real way. I pray that the peace that Jesus gives would cover their hearts. I pray that this Christmas, as we celebrate your birth together/apart that we would have a new perspective on what all that is and know that we can have your peace. Because you give it. Amen.
Resting in His peace,
*John 14:27 NIV