Most of this month I’ve been strung out like a string of Christmas lights with a bulb that’s on the flicker – threatening to blow a fuse at any moment. I love Christmas, but the stuff that we’ve built around it can become overwhelming. It becomes an all consuming thing – the shopping particularly. My focus tends towards trying to make the big day perfect for everyone in the family and taking on the pressure of all of that. It’s an unrealistic, self-imposed expectation to say the least. It makes me fret through the month of December. I shelve the Christmas picture books over and over again at the library – there’s one called The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. I smile to myself every time I handle it as I’m longing for that little bit of still in this crazy season.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t long for a quiet, no noise Christmas. I love the fun and laughter, family and friends together, singing, music, dancing, the lot. It is not quiet in our house.
I am talking about true peace. I think most people agree that ‘the stuff’ doesn’t bring peace.
I love this right now moment on Christmas Eve, when there is no more to be done, or if there is it’s just too late. This is where I let go. I know, I should do that so much earlier. It feels like I’ve been running towards this moment when we all stop. We go to the Christmas Eve service and, though I’ve known it all along, I get excited again about the Prince of Peace. These words were already floating around in my head and then the message this evening was about this very aspect of the Christmas story. The little baby King come to bring peace on earth, peace with God, peace with others. The only place where I find true peace – Jesus. This is what it is really all about.
The gifts are fun for sure and I love to bless my kids with what we can, but that’s not what I want this Christmas to be about. This year with so much sadness in our world, so much uncertainty and unrest, I’m glad that there is hope. I am so aware that we have so much to be thankful for and, even with all that we see, I believe there is ‘good news of great joy for all the people’. The Prince of Peace has come.