This past Sunday was the Advent Sunday of Peace. This year has been an incredible one, you can take that as a positive or negative. In my own life, I have seen many changes and experienced trials both external and internal. Along with this past Sunday being the Advent Peace Sunday, it was also the dedication of the best product of 2016, my niece Lydia Ann Sullivan. I have included some pictures of her dedication, because in the end, this is what I celebrate about 2016. As the busiest week of the Christmas season is upon us, I hope that these words that I wrote for the Peace Reading this past Sunday will aide in your busy schedule.
When I say the word Christmas, many images might come to your mind. Some may think of shopping and gifts. Some may think of family and friends. Some may think of television specials and church programs. Others might be lonely at this time or just completely overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the season. I know for one that I have been to numerous holiday gatherings already with many more to follow in the coming days.
It is ironic that the busiest week of the holiday season is also the week of Peace. How are we supposed to follow Psalm 46:10 “Be Still and Know that I am God” when there is so much to do. Think back to the time of Jesus’ birth. It was not a peaceful time. The king wanted all male babies dead. Jesus came in a time of immense strife. Much like when He came to save us. Romans 5:8 says “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” He came to us when we didn’t deserve Him and He died for us too.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, written by CS Lewis, the Creator and Savior of Narnia, Aslan the Lion is the allegorical representation of Jesus. In The Silver Chair, Aslan gives directions to a human visitor to Narnia, Jill. Aslan tells Jill four major signs to look for in her journey. Much like the prophet Isaiah. These signs are not only help to Jill in her quest, but they are also reminders of Aslan’s protection and providence in her life. I think Aslan’s words are a great reminder to us on how we should view Christ during our Christmas season.
“Remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” – The Silver Chair, Chapter 2
As we finish the Christmas Season and the anticipation of the Christ child’s coming, remember the promises or signs that God has sent us. Continue to remember these promises in the morning, in the evenings, during stressful times when the ham hasn’t thawed, when you forget that cousin that you needed a gift for, when your family argues at the Christmas dinner table, and when you are late for the Christmas morning church service. Remember that God loves you. Remember that the fruit of His spirit IS peace. And most of all remember that Christ did come and He is coming again. Nothing else matters.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!