Peace on Earth and in Our Hearts

The message of Christmas stands in stark contrast to the messages we see in today’s headlines. Every day when we turn on the television or pull up our social media feed, we are bombarded with images and stories that are heartbreaking:

“Police trying to locate missing 15-year-old girl…”
“Suspects captured after store robbery…”
“Two juveniles arrested after armed carjacking…”

While we see the word “peace” on Christmas cards and spelled out in lights at this time of year, it can be easy to lose sight of the peace that Jesus came to bring. Everyone seems to want peace, but as we see in these headlines, and as we look around at the state of our world, there is an absence of it. Maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.

Instead of looking around us to find peace, let’s look back to the baby that was born in the manger and came to be our Prince of Peace. He not only came to bring peace on earth, but He also wants to speak peace into our lives regardless of what we’re facing. As we enter this season, we can choose peace.

We can choose peace by choosing perspective over perfection. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting everything to be perfect for Christmas–the perfect gifts, the elegant table setting. We set a standard in our minds that is completely unrealistic.

The first Christmas wasn’t composed of lovely centerpieces and Christmas trees, intricately decorated cookies or festive shopping malls. It certainly wasn’t elaborate. It was actually a very ordinary night; the only perfect thing about it was that it wasn’t complicated.

But it was in that ordinary moment that something extraordinary happened. There, in a quiet field, was a group of ordinary men doing an ordinary job on an ordinary night. And because they were looking in the right place, they experienced the extraordinary–they found Jesus.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them…” Luke 2:8 & 9a

How many times do we miss out on the extraordinary because we are so caught up in wanting things to be “perfect,” that we end up in the wrong place? Let’s remember this year that many of our ordinary moments are really divine encounters in disguise. This year, choose to keep your eyes open and slow down enough to take in these moments and shift your perspective to the extraordinary– this year, choose peace!