"TRUE PEACE ON EARTH"
Hustle, hustle, hustle! If your home is anything like mine, there are lights to get up, a tree to decorate, cookies to bake, a house to get ready for guests, Christmas parties to attend, and presents to buy for our immediate family, extended family, coworkers, kids teachers, and I’m sure I’ve missed someone! And in the midst of it all there are basketball games to run the boys to, ML games to attend, baseball workouts on the weekend, and meetings…there are always meeting! WOW, what ever happened to peace on earth during this Christmas season? It seems more like run, run, run, buy, buy, buy, clean, clean, clean, and at the end of the day, crash, crash, crash!
Oh, I didn’t mention another appointment that I have in my ever so busy schedule, church! But by taking time for this appointment, I find the peace that I so much need in my life and the life of my family. I rejoice with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” King David was right when he said those words. When I go to the house of the Lord, there I find my brothers and sisters singing “Joy to the World, the Lordis Come”. I am again encouraged by their faith and, I pray, they are encouraged by mine. The greatest peace I find by my time in my church is the reminder that I, a sinner, can come before a Holy Lord and be forgiven and accepted into his family. I can do this because of the work of that Babe of Bethlehem who lived on this earth, perfectly, and substituted himself for the punishment I deserve. Now, because he lives, I too will live! This is a message that never gets old and always brings peace to my stubborn heart.
And, it brings me peace to now see my children sitting (or squirming) by me. My oldest three can learn the beauty of worship through the familiar songs of the liturgy. I hear them singing from the hymnal, joining in the prayers, and sitting intently (for the most part) to the message of peace in the sermon. Soon, my youngest will follow suit. They come home from their Lutheran Schools singing songs for their Christmas Services, practicing their piano pieces, and telling me what their Bible Stories are for the day.
I give thanks during this season for our Lutheran churches and schools which all help to slow down families like mine and help us to focus. They help us to focus on the gift that is not found on any shelf, but instead was first found in a manger and is now sitting at the right hand of his Father in Heaven. This gift is my Savior and yours.
God’s Blessings and Merry Christmas to all of you as you too find this peace in your Savior, Jesus!