How about we do that again, I need it.
That’s a little better. Now it’s time to light our 4th candle – the candle of peace. Isn’t it pretty? I just want to sit here and look at it…
Tomorrow is the last day of advent, and it isn’t lost on me that today we are led to dwell on the gift of peace. It’s like the Lord knew something about human nature (go figure).
There is something in us that feels the need to work, strive, and busy ourselves when we know something is coming. So when the angel appeared to declare the arrival of the new born King, the message was,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14
Peace to those on whom his favor rests. Did you know that’s you?
No, really. You are favored by God. And the Lord wanted all of us to know that with the gift of the Savior comes peace. We don’t need to earn the gift. In fact, we couldn’t even if we tried. That’s why he came – we needed it, didn’t deserve it, and couldn’t earn it. So it had to be a gift. And gifts are free.
I need this message today.
We have taken the idea of Christmas – the celebration of the greatest gift ever given – and turned it into the most busy and stressful time of the year!
I want to start out by confessing that this has been the craziest holiday season for me. I have a ton of balls in the air, and while none have dropped, and my juggling act has been quite impressive, I am screeching into Christmas with nothing left to contribute.
I am not proud.
So, today, (while doing 4 Christmas services) I am going to center my attention on the declaration of peace that precedes the gift. I am grateful that the Lord knows us. He knows that we are inclined to work from a place of worthlessness and fear and he meets us in his generosity and love and says,
“my child, rest”
Have you been like me this year? Working to make this season great for everyone else, but not resting in the gift? I am stopped by this revelation. If we are receiving his favor, we need to honor the Lord by not making this season about work. Of course, we can have fun and celebrate, but if it becomes about everything else but the celebration of His love and gift, what are we celebrating!?
So, today, I receive the good news of the peace that we are given before the gift. And I bless you to join me.
Peace, be still.
Joy Bringer’s Advent