How does this advent season find you? Do you find yourself running around to all these different activities, programs, and parties? Are you scrambling for last minute shopping and gifts? Maybe while everyone around you seems excited, you instead are feeling a little bit empty and anxious? How does this advent season find you?
Every year there always seems a little bit of a disconnect between the story of Jesus and my story today. Jesus came to offer peace to us. John 14:27 says, I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. In a season where Jesus is our peace, are you experiencing peace?
King Herod, at the time of Jesus' birth, represents many different things. He represents power, money, success, and security. Often times we look for peace in these areas. If we had this job, then we would have peace. If we had our finances in order, we would have peace. If our government was this way, then we would have peace. Yet do we? Our careers bring all kinds of stress from our projects and relationships with our peers. Having a dream house adds to stress in making our mortgage payments and dealing with repairs. Being married and having kids certainly isn't peaceful all the time. Jesus says, I give a peace that the world cannot give.
Jesus offers us peace in several different ways. First, He saves us from our sins. No matter how much we have failed in life, we have a second chance. We are restored, redeemed, made white as snow through Jesus. This gives us peace for ourselves, our family, our kids, and our friends. We have an incredible hope of redemption in this life. Second, Jesus is introduced as Immanuel, God with us. No matter what circumstances we face in life He is the God Immanuel. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us and will walk with us through all our trials. Third, through the incredible prophecies that predicted Jesus' birth, we have an incredible confidence in our future. When God says, we are His masterpiece and he has created us anew and prepared us for good works he planned a long time ago, then we can look back at history and have confidence for the future. The past fuels our future. When God says, He is making all things new. There will be a new day, a new heaven, a new earth when Jesus comes again, then we wait in hope during this second advent for His return.
Peace. It's not about our circumstances. It's a peace that comes from God. It's a peace that exists even in spite of our circumstances. May this advent season find you with a sense of peace. Like the words of the great hymn, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.