Brooke Norton – Student Life Group Pastor | Gilbert Campus
My husband and I love Christmas. We are the kind of over the top joy-filled couple that starts listening to Christmas music in October and begins decking out our apartment at the break of any heat here in Arizona. Once the holiday drinks come out at Starbucks, that place becomes a second home. I break out all my scarves and boots when it hits 75 degrees. Although, for all of you from the Midwest, you will understand me when I say that there’s just something not quite right with no snow on Christmas. I am slowly but surely getting used to no snow on over the holidays but looking back, I must tell you that one of my more memorable Christmases’ involved an abundance of snow.
It was Christmas Eve. My family and I had a million and one things to do before my family arrived. The house needed to be cleaned, food needed to be purchased, and gifts were hidden around the house until they finally got wrapped. Like any other normal person over the holidays, we were busy. And then we saw the weather forecast… SNOW! Lots of snow! Over the course of two days, we saw 12-14 inches of snow all over the city. For my family, this meant that my dad had to be gone to do snow removal and my grandparents had to cancel their travel plans. It was a bummer, to say the least.
I remember feeling disappointed and frustrated that the snow was going to impose on my Christmas and destroy my traditions. I pouted and sulked the rest of Christmas Eve. I probably said some smart-alecky remark to my parents about how this wasn’t fair. I mean, isn’t Christmas supposed to be about family and traditions and food and presents?!
It wasn’t until those few days were over until I could appreciate what that snow had done for us! It made our family slow down. We were no longer expected to conform to society’s expectations for the Christmas season. The busyness stopped and I was able to participate in the wholeness of real relationship with my family. The snow made me readjust my expectations for Christmas and I was able to find peace in a situation that was rather awful.
Isn’t that was the Christmas season is all about?! Jesus brings peace to the world that is full of chaos, stress, and brokenness. Jesus came as a soft and gentle baby. But the very fact that he entered our realm as a human to bring peace is what I love about the Christmas season. Jesus became one of us. He felt the tension in this world to conform to sin. He felt the strain of relationships. But he maintained peace in a world that was dark. And it’s in the Christmas season that we remember how soft and slow God entered the world to one-day break society’s chaos.
Isaiah 9:6-7 puts it like this:
“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. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
It’s the week before Christmas and I want to challenge you to slow down and consider what peace looks like for you this week! Perhaps peace means mending hatred in a relationship. Maybe peace means intervening in a certain conflict to bring wholeness. Or peace may even mean pretending it’s snowing in Arizona just to slow down and enjoy the beautiful life God gave us. Peace is freedom, whether that’s external peace with other people or internal solitude. Reflect on the subtle entrance Jesus made in this world and contemplate God’s vision to intervene in your life to bring peace.Click here for the photo credit on this post