"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14).
Bad news is everywhere. It seems even worse during holiday celebrations. All you have to do is open a newspaper to find out there is no peace on earth right now. There never has been. That's because men's hearts are evil unless they are connected to God. Jesus Himself foretold of "wars and rumors of wars" as a sign of the last days (Matthew 24:6).
When the angels said to the shepherds, "peace and goodwill toward men," they were not referring to the absence of war. Peace between God and man is the gift of Christmas. That is the good news.
There is no war between God and man any longer unless man refuses the perfect sacrifice. But sometimes we forget what He really gave us. We get caught up in shopping, traveling, cooking, and parties and in the frenzy of it all, we lose our peace. Rushing to purchase that last gift, getting cut off in traffic, and long check-out lines can frustrate us to the point of losing the meaning of the celebration.
In all the haste of the season, take a few moments to stop and leave it all behind. Focus only on the baby, the reason for the season. Ponder these words from Jesus, "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
May His peace be the best gift you receive this Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Sunday, December 9, 2012
“Do you think you need a chainsaw for that one?” A worker at the Christmas tree farm said as he passed us on the lot.
Every year our youngest son wants a freshly cut tree, and he really gets into picking out the largest one he can find. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get this monstrosity in the house. Even the handsaw we were given to use wasn’t big enough to get through the trunk. But in a few seconds the chainsaw the man brought cut through it like butter, and the handsaw was saved some unnecessary wear on its teeth.
It hardly seems like Christmas yet. Even though music is playing on the radio and stores are decorated, it is still in the 60’s and 70’s here in Georgia. After walking around the tree lot, I was starting to sweat and long for a cold bottle of water. I must say, the free hot chocolate being handed out didn’t have many takers that day.
But I can remember some Christmases where I could barely feel my toes in my shoes while walking around trying to select a tree. I was willing to take the first and closest one to the truck just to get back inside. Ah, Christmas in the south. You never know what you will get!
But weather is not what makes Christmas anyway. It’s remembering the reason we decorate, give gifts, and visit with family and friends. It’s all about Jesus.
Not all of life’s curves are difficult. Some are as fun as an amusement park ride. Like Christmas.
What are some of your Christmas tree memories?