Peace Hope and Love
I am not sure that it is the same for you but each year I am sure that the Christmas decorations in the shops and the endless Christmas catalogues in the post begin earlier and earlier in the year. I do know that we are getting really close to Christmas when Mrs Grimmett starts looking for her Christmas CDs. Regardless, these are all signs that Christmas is upon us.
For many, Christmas is simply a holiday – and a stressful one at that. I think we all know the unease of buying gifts that we probably don’t need with money we don’t really have. It is a festive time of parties, graduations and many extra events that are packed into an already full schedule. I acknowledge that it is a time where I feel rushed and over-committed, rather than thankful and reflective of the significance of the ‘reason for the season’ – the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago. It should, of all times in the year, be a time when we experience God’s peace, hope and love in our lives.
Christmas should be a time of peace, yet we fear we may overlook someone on our gift list, or maybe they won’t like what we bought them, or perhaps they will think our gift too cheap. For some, Christmas brings the added tension of bringing together fractured families. Instead of peace, we dread the inevitable conflicts. Christmas should be a time of peace.
Christmas should be a time of hope. Christmas marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next – it is a crossroad of the past and the future. 2018, with its blessings and its significant trials, is gone. 2019 looms ahead, full of uncertainty. Yet, we have Christmas – the celebration of a birth that took place 2000 years ago – a permanent bright spot on our calendars – because God has given us hope. Christmas should be a time of hope.
Christmas should be a time of love, focussed on the greatest love story ever told – the story of our God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Christmas is the story of God’s greatest gift of love given to each of us to meet our greatest need. Christmas should be a time of love.
The Christmas story is a story retold each year, yet it never loses its magnificence; it never ceases to fill my heart with wonder and expectation. There are three certainties that I hold that fill my Christmas with the peace, hope and love I sometimes feel is missing in the bustle of this time of year.
I know that God is in control and will fill my Christmas with peace.
I know that God can do all things and will fill my Christmas with hope.
I know that God cares for me and will fill my Christmas with love.
My prayer this Christmas season is that you know the peace, hope and love that is offered through the birth of Christ and that you know this despite the state of your diary and stress level. I also pray that the Christmas/New Year break is a safe and restful time for you and for your loved ones.