This Christmas, let there be peace on earth and with each other
Published 1:02 pm Friday, December 16, 2022
Christmas is a sure sign of God’s love for us.
During these past few weeks, especially since November, many churches have celebrated Advent, and Christians have been preparing their hearts for the arrival of the Christ Child. A time of quiet anticipation. Advent lays out a path toward Jesus’ birth at Christmas. This is evident in the presentation of our churches — Christmas cantatas and carols, candlelight, and the Christmas story shared in drama.
By doing so, the church helps us to make room in our hearts and minds, and gives us a space to quietly contemplate amid the hectic preparations that take place in the days leading up to Christmas.
The Christmas season, by contrast, is a great time of celebration in which we are called to share God’s love with others, with the innocence of a child.
The story of Christmas is this. Jesus, who came into the world as a child, believes in a world on a child’s scale, on the scale of everyone. He made us understand this by being born in Bethlehem. But even today, He makes Himself close to the children of every country and people, and He does so every day. It is the style of God, which is described in three words: closeness, compassion and tenderness. This is God’s style, there is no other.
We can celebrate a “real Christmas” by recognizing truth and cultivating peace in our hearts. We live in a divided nation, where politicians desire power, say mean things about each other, have no respect for one another. It’s important that we have a heart at peace, because an anxious heart cannot seek God. We must find peace, even when we experience suffering or difficulties.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has been a source of anxiety for many. Part of what God shows us through the Christmas message is that in the midst of struggles and anxieties of life, He brings to us the gifts of peace and reconciliation.
This Christmas, we must do our part to put Christ at the center of all that we celebrate. We are called during this season — not just one day — to share the Good News of Jesus’ birth, and the important role it plays in salvation history. We cannot keep that message to ourselves.
In doing so, we have the opportunity to create immense peace in our hearts. And through our example, we are able to share that peace with others.