The response of every beauty pageant. The hope of every generation. The promise that came from a baby born in Bethlehem.
Harmony…freedom from fear…no war.
We understand peace and yet we don’t. We understand what it is like when we experience harmony among family and friends, but we don’t understand harmony of every tribe, tongue, and culture without judgement or condemnation or hate. We understand freedom from fear of certain circumstances like growing out of the fear of the dark or of spiders–or not–but we don’t understand freedom from all fears including death and loss and insecurities. We understand what it means to not be at war but we don’t understand what it means to be free from war within ourselves.
The peace of Christmas is a peace which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The peace of Christmas is the closest we can ever come to truly understanding those aspects of peace that are so foreign. We hope, we pray, and we long to understand.
Peace came to earth in the form of a baby, born to a teenage, single mom, wrapped in burial cloths, and laid in a feed trough.
As a mom of two little girls, I don’t instinctively see peace at the sight of a baby. I see sleepless nights and exhausting days. I see the struggle to understand those things that are supposed to be so natural and yet never really are. I see the fear that comes at every waking moment, knowing that something terrible could happen to your child–your baby.
But I can equally reflect on the sight of my babies, especially as newborns in those first couple of hours. The gentle breaths as they quietly snore. The way that their eyelashes lay on their cheeks in perfection. The look of utter innocence, trusting that they can sleep soundly because they just know that they will be cared for. There is no fear–there is peace. That beautiful picture of unadulterated peace.
While the initial picture of peace through a baby seems like an intense juxtaposition, there is that beautiful moment between the tiredness and strain of new motherhood where your heart swells in such intense love and peace in that moment that it all becomes clear.
The peace of Christmas is a promise of the hope that is to come for all the world. But until that day it is the peace that can come from a personal relationship with Jesus. That peace which surpasses all understanding.
As we close out this advent season I pray that you will find peace. I pray that peace will fill your hearts and your homes. I pray that you will relish both the hope of perfect peace in the future and the promise of peace available through Jesus today.