In the Christmas season we see the words love, joy and peace a lot. This doesn’t mean that these are the only feelings we experience during the Holidays. I do think we see these types of actions now more than other times of the year. This brings up the question why. Why do people seem to be nicer around Christmas?
I think that the Christmas season brings the Christian ideals to the forefront due to the fact that we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday. This makes us more aware of Christ and what He has asked of us. In Philippians 4:4-7, we are told to “…be filled with joy.” It doesn’t say to just be filled with joy the few weeks of the year when celebrate Christ’s birthday. It says be filled with joy. How can we be filled with joy?
What about peace? Merriam-Webster says that peace is 1. a state of tranquility 2. Freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions 3. Harmony in personal relationships. These all sound like great things. Why is it that we struggle to find peace, especially during the hectic chaos of the holiday season? Maybe it’s because everyone has different ideas, thoughts and goals. This can make peace difficult to accomplish. Pastor Lee told a story of a Nigerian woman whose Nigerian name means “the child who takes anger away”. When asked how she got this name she told about her grandparents on both sides of her family disapproving of her mother and father getting married. After they went ahead and were married the families quit speaking. After she was born the grandparents decided to get past their disagreements. It’s amazing the power of peace that a baby can have. There was a baby who’s birthday we’re now celebrating that this name would be a fitting for.
We have the choice to be filled with love, joy and peace through out the whole year, not just at Christmas, it’s up to us. We have to decide to and then do it. We can choose how we are going to live and act. Are we going to harbor anger and turmoil or are we going to choose joy and peace?
Another story in the Pastor’s sermon was about a military plane crash. It was a awful sight with body parts scatter around. The military personnel were cleaning up the mess when local civilians came and helped. This wasn’t their responsibility or a requirement. Never the less they were helping. Later that night a mortuary lieutenant was struggling with all that he had seen that day. He went and spoke with the Chaplin. While they were talking the young lieutenant said about the civilians, “They Are the Only Persons Who Would, or Perhaps Could, Do What We Had to Do Today”. This made a huge impact on the young man’s life.
These civilians would or could do what they did. The same thing is true of us when we are struggling with feelings opposed to love, joy and peace. We can choose love, joy and peace.
I hope you have a love, joy and peace filled Christmas.