Have you heard the song with the lyric, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me (affiliate link)“?
The Christmas season is stressful. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday, you’d have to avoid people to escape the stress.
People in a rush to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace seem to be missing the point.
Most people waiting for the birth of the Prince of Peace missed the point, too.
It’s like getting so caught up in getting to church on time that you start yelling at your family because they’re not hurrying fast enough.
Before you know it, you’ve gone from following Jesus to following your own self-interests. But for what purpose?
I know. I’ve been there too many times.
The Enemy of Peace on Earth
In the days of Caesar Augustus, when Joseph, Mary and their donkey were on their way to Bethlehem, God’s chosen people were waiting for a savior that would squash their enemies.
Then there would be peace on earth.
What they failed to realize, was that the real enemy that needed to be squashed
was in their hearts.
God had chosen the Israelites to be a light to the world, to reveal God’s justice and mercy.
Instead, most had hardened their hearts against the true God, in favor of following gods made in their own image–gods that fed their appetite for sensual pleasure and material possessions.
So, when baby Jesus showed up in a Bethlehem stable, the most “religious” people missed it.
What if you made a planned visit to family, showed up at their house, and they didn’t recognize you?
When Jesus arrived, he was welcomed by simple shepherds who’d met an angel choir. A few days later, magi from the east–perhaps descendants of Ishmael–showed up, inspired by their study of ancient prophecies.
They didn’t fully understand what was going on, but there was something said–sung–by the angels about “peace on earth.”
Finding Peace on Earth
Have you ever driven a car or grocery cart with the wheels misaligned? There’s a lot of vibrating and shaking that goes on. It’s not a peaceful experience, for sure.
There can’t be peace in or lives when our thoughts and actions aren’t aligned with God’s thoughts and actions.
There can’t be peace on earth until our lives are aligned with God–one life at a time, beginning with you and me.
Consider these 7 opportunities to bring peace to the Christmas season:
- Start each day by asking God to fill you with His peace.
- Instead of arguing with someone you disagree with, say, “That’s interesting. Tell me more about that.”
- Invite someone to go ahead of you through a door, in a check-out line, or in a parking lot.
- Pick up trash you see lying on the ground and put it in a recycle bin or garbage can.
- Bake and deliver something tasty and fresh to your neighbors.
- Get a few people together to sing or play instruments in a nursing home, and visit with the residents.
- Give a hug to someone who’s stressed and ask them how you can help–then help.