December 8, 2021

Shawn Stoever
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
John 14:27

Take a moment to brainstorm all the words and images that pop into your mind when you think about Christmas. My first thoughts are decorations, presents, family, shopping, lights, and did I say “presents.”

Sad but true and honest, Jesus did not make it into my original brainstorming list. And not surprisingly, most everything on my list brings me at least a little anxiety. God never meant for Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ, to be about stress, anxiety, panic, or worry. I get so busy trying to make sure to get presents for everyone that I miss the important gift God is giving to me…his son, who sacrificed to be my Savior and Lord. God’s amazing gift to us through Jesus is peace.

And the gifts don’t stop there. After his birth, Jesus spent 30+ years living here on earth to show us how to live righteous and holy lives. When it was time for him to go, Jesus again left us with a gift. He does not give to us “as the world gives,” rather he gives us peace…his peace. As you look toward Christmas and celebrations, take the time to receive the gift of peace God is offering.