Just for a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and see if you feel at peace.
As much as we want to feel peace around the holidays, it isn’t always an easy feeling to come by. And let’s face it, trying to find peace in this world at any time of year is (if I may be so bold) a futile endeavor. The world is not now, nor has it ever been, at peace. At least not since Adam and Eve roamed the garden in their (ahem) original state.
“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.” (John 14:27 NIV)
That’s a direct quote from Jesus Himself. The arrival of Jesus in Nazareth on that first Christmas all those years ago was also the arrival of peace on earth. When we decide to follow Him, we no longer need to look to the world to find peace. Even when things are falling apart all around us, even when our hearts are troubled and we feel afraid, knowing Jesus offers us the opportunity to look at life through the lens of peace.
In this day and age that we live in, that sometimes feels impossible. How can we find peace in the world when a good look around reveals mostly turmoil and trouble and strife? Turns out, it’s pretty simple.
All we have to do is take a moment, close our eyes, take a deep breath, and ask for it.
“Ask and it will be given to you…for everyone who asks receives.” (Matthew 7:7-8, excerpts, NIV)
The same Jesus who was there when God put the stars in the sky, the same Jesus who walked on the water, the same Jesus who fed 5,000 people with almost nothing, that same Jesus is the one who left heaven to come to earth to find you. He cares about the things you care about. He understands the trouble you’re facing. He knows how hard it is to feel at peace when everything around you feels unsteady.
Jesus is so powerful that His sacrifice was enough to save all of mankind. And He wants to give you the peace you desire. He can do it. He can give you peace. All you have to do is ask.
On this last week of Advent, we light the candle of Peace. This candle marks the beginning of the final week leading up to Christmas. Also known as the “Angel’s Candle,” it serves as a reminder of the angel’s proclamation that peace was on its way to the world in the form of a human baby.
Thanks so much for joining us this Advent season! As we approach Christmas this week, take a few minutes to live into the peace that this season offers us. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Before you go to bed, put on a coat, go outside and look up at the stars. Remember that the God of the Universe, the God who put the stars in the sky, came to earth just for you.
- Wake up a few minutes early and listen to this song. As you go about your day, remember that God always keeps His promises.
- After the hustle and bustle of the day, turn off every light in the house except for the ones on the Christmas tree. Sit quietly in the glow and ask God for peace.
- Find ways to offer peace to those around you. Smile at a stranger, park further away so someone else can have the spot near the door, text a friend and tell them they’re doing a great job, learn how to give a good hug (it takes at least 20 seconds for oxytocin to be released!).
- Take a moment, close your eyes, and breathe. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)