Saturday, November 28, 2009

Peace and Joy: The Heart of the Holidays

Joy to the World....Peace on Earth...Do you ever hear these phrases, look around at the world/earth, and wonder what they are referring to or where they are? Where is the joy? Where is the peace? What do these two highly sought after but seemingly elusive states of being have to do with Christmas? Is it just a reference to the warm fuzzy feeling we experience when we are gathered with friends and family or watch children exclaim with enthusiasm over a generous and anticipated gift? I'm going to step out of the box and say NO WAY! The peace and joy referenced in these two phrases refer to something much more sacred and precious than those, and I must say that I believe its time we stop wasting the holidays yammering on about the relatively insignificant blessings of family and material possessions and actually get to the heart of the holiday season...the peace and joy that Jesus came to offer to each one of us personally! I'm talkinfg about the overwhelming peace and joy that dwell within an individual independent from her environment or experiences when she chooses to receive the gift of Jesus and accept him as Lord and Savior of her life. Those two words have become just as generic in our vocabulary as peace and joy, so I must stop to clarify what I mean when I write them...LORD: boss, individual to whom total control is relinquished...Savior: the one relied upon to save an individual.When we submit totally to Jesus in these two ways, Christmas reigns in our lives daily! I am sharing this because this is what I have experienced undeniably for over a year now, and I know it isn't a gift for me to hoard to myself but rather one intended to be shared among all of God's creation. I believe that if we ever embrace these truths along with the Bible's other teachings as a group that will be the time we will be able to look around and actually witness the possibility of peace and joy that God sent to the earth when Jesus was born being birthed into the world around us. My point is that the peace and joy spoken of during the holiday season are not enjoyable, mythic characters like Santa Claus. They are real, and true and tangible realities that are available for the taking to anyone prepared to accept the gift that Jesus offers through his birth, life and death on the cross and make him Lord of her life! I can attest to thir existance! If you don't believe me, come witness me personally as I hobble through life with only one functioning arm and the resulting difficulties as a constant companion. In spite of that, I dwell in the peace and joy of Jesus Christ every day! I want you to be able to experience these treasures that are available to you as well, so I continue to yammer on about them post after post hoping it will catch in your heart, and you will believe that Jesus is worth seeking out, and he promises that if you seek him, you WILL FIND HIM. (Matthew 7:7) So, seek out the peace and joy of Christmas this holiday season! Its been gift wrapped and waiting for you since before you were born at the foot of the cross:) Accept the gift God is offering to you his precious creation that he loves endlessly( so much so that he came to earth taking on human form in order to pay the punishment for the wrong things you have done and will do.)

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