It’s less than two weeks to Christmas, we only have one more week of Advent and I’m more than a little sad to see the Christmas season passing as quickly as it has, especially in this year that has felt like many years crammed into one. But if Mary can wrap her head around being the mother of the Son of God in 9 months, and shepherds can pick up and find the stable in moments, I suppose I can accept that we only really get 4 weeks to celebrate Christmas (maybe pushing it to 6 weeks if I’m lucky).
Each person in the story of the First Christmas had a choice: they could accept what God was telling them and follow through on it trusting God to make it work out, or let their doubts and questions take lead. There was a close call with Joseph who almost backed out, but God spoke to him and Joseph turned his heart in a way that to our knowledge didn’t happen with Jonah who also had an up close and personal encounter with God.
This year hasn’t been the year of peace, but here we are in the season that’s supposed to be about peace. You know, that peaceful little scene at the manger, right? Totally not peaceful. After all, who has ever been in a very peaceful area with animals or while someone is giving birth or after making a big and long journey? It’s not picture perfect. But peace doesn’t have to be about perfection, it can just be about accepting and trusting God to lead as He said He would.
“The angel came to her and said, “Peace be with you! The Lord is with you and has greatly blessed you!”” Luke 1:28 GNT
This is one of the most famous and well known passages from the Christmas story, and the angel leads with a message of peace before Mary had any idea exactly what situation God had brought her into. It’s like saying: even though you don’t know anything really yet, be assured that it will all work out, there’s no reason to worry. If there’s a message we need to hear after this year, that’s a big one. I just wish that we’d have what’s next shared with us, and not just that declaration of peace. But maybe we need to start with peace, and we haven’t accepted it yet or trusted that God is in control, which is why we don’t know the next steps yet. What are you learning about peace this Christmas season?