“Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.” Really? The first words in the song Silent Night speak about a calm night with a sleeping baby, but it was likely anything but calm and peaceful. Crying baby, unwed mother, barn animals close by, no room in the inn…doesn’t sound too peaceful. This year feels more like that first Christmas, chaotic, isolated, stressful, anything but normal. But what if this Christmas could be different?
Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” The peace of God begins with prayer and thanksgiving.
The pressure to buy everyone the perfect gift, to fulfill every holiday tradition, and this year to manage in the midst of a pandemic is not going away. We bring peace to chaos by learning to pray before we plan, to center our lives on Christ in every moment of the season, and by giving thanks for the blessings of God.
The most comforting Christmas song for this year is likely, O Holy Night. “Long lay the world in sin and error, pining. ‘Til He [Jesus] appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.” It is in Christ that our soul feels its worth. It is in Christ, not the world around us, that we find peace. The Gospel of John records Jesus saying, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27).
Take time to pray, and let your soul feel its worth as you center your life on Jesus, knowing you are unconditionally loved. May the peace of Christ fall afresh on you!