Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
“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.”
ADVENT DEVOTION – DECEMBER 8
The Christmas season is so filled with shopping, busyness, hurriedness, and stress (both financially and relationally) that peace is the last word that comes to mind. How can we possibly find peace in the midst of this hectic and even chaotic time?
The problem isn’t that peace doesn’t exist; it’s that we don’t understand what it truly is. The peace that Jesus ushered in that day the angels proclaimed peace on earth–the peace Jesus promised to leave with us–isn’t the absence of busyness. Peace isn’t the opposite of conflict or chaos. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. Shalom means completeness, prosperity, tranquility, harmony, contentment, fulfillment, wholeness. This peace is something only the Savior of the world can give. It is a reconciling, unifying peace between us and God–and with others.
This peace is a gift, and like any other gift at Christmas, you need to receive it–open it, make it yours. But Jesus says he doesn’t give like the world gives. So unlike every other gift, this one will satisfy more than earthly gifts that meet temporary wants or desires. This gift of peace will pierce your soul and reside there, filling you to the point that loss, grief, discontent, disunity, or disappointment will not be able to find room within you.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7
Jesus was born into a messy world. One filled with persecution, disease, betrayal, and immorality. He brought peace with him. He will give you peace in the midst of your messy life, chaotic schedule, or sadness. Often, when people die, we say, “May he or she rest in peace.” Claim that eternal peace today, while you still have breath. Rest in His peace. Know wholeness. Know a contentment so deep it can only come from the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Thank you for bringing wholeness to this broken world. Today and every day, help me to trust fully in you and rest in the peace that you offer. Let me find in you, shalom.
In your name,
Pastor of Discipleship Materials
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