Whether by circumstance or by our own doing, it does not seem like Christmas brings with it the time of peace. The coming of the promised Savior, the fulfillment of God's Promise, the birth of the one who will usher in eternal peace all seems to be drowned out by the chaos of Christmas shopping, planning trips, and trying to take care of our regular needs. Peace is the last thing on our mind when our heads finally hit the pillow at night.
Luke 2 tells us the familiar story of Jesus' birth. When we reenact this nativity scenes in plays, movies, and even as decorations around the house we show a scene of peace, but we should also remember that even Jesus' birth was amidst the same chaos we face today. Mary and Joseph didn't birth their son at home, or even in a bed. They gave birth in a stable, with livestock neighing one stall over, and instead of a cute sanitary crib they laid their newborn in a feeding trough! All of this occurred away from Mary and Joseph's home, in the middle of a census, and to a family that was just making ends meet. The prince of peace was born in a kingdom of chaos!
We all want peace this holiday season and just because there is chaos in our world, it doesn't mean that we can't have peace for ourselves. There will always be storms coming and going in the world, but we can lay hold of one consistent anchor, God is able to bring those who trust and follow him through it unscathed!
It's hard to believe that only a short while ago our community was boarding up its windows in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Months ago billboards were blown over, but now they are decorated with Christmas lights and announcements about the holidays. As our city grows busier, there is a kind of beauty to seeing streets that were recently full of debris now full of holiday shoppers. It gives me hope.
Inside, we are a lot like this city. Hurricanes have swept through our lives and left a damage everywhere. We have a choice to make. We can wallow in our misfortune and retreat into ourselves, OR, we can reprioritize and continue moving forward in God's mission. 2 Corinthians 5 says, "…we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight." (ESV) It is a reminder of the different perspective we hold as Jesus followers. Our hope is not found in staying dry or keeping our houses full of stuff. It is in the life we can already live right now in Christ! Do you believe that Jesus Christ has paid for your sins and that your faith in him will save you? If you do, then proudly decorate your damaged roof for Christmas! You may even find yourself bringing hope for those searching for it this season!