John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, not as the world gives, do I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (RSV)
In mid-November, I received an Advent gift box from my parents. In it was an assortment of lovely presents (this I suppose, since, as I write, they haven't been opened yet!) and things that remind me of my family and Ontario. However, the most precious gift wasn't in a fancy wrapper. It was just a piece of brown paper, with a few feathers glued to it, from my four-year-old niece, Lorisa. It is a turkey that she made, with a little help from some friends, and sent to her Uncle Charles.
While this seems sweet and lovely, and it is, it also reminds me, again, of why we celebrate Christmas. It isn't the fancy dinner, the marvellous decorations, or the credit card-driven presents we get.
Christmas is about the simple things, like home-made presents, time with family and friends, and Jesus.
When Jesus came to earth, there were no major celebrations, no parties, and no glorious meals. There were just His mother, Mary, His earthly father, Joseph, several types of livestock, and God.
Jesus was born, lived, and died, the same as all of us, but that is only part of the story. He also rose from the dead!
Let's enjoy this Christmas season with a heart full of the peace that comes from knowing that Christ has defeated death!
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your wonderful gift of Christmas peace, which is based on Easter's resurrection. Amen.