“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:4–7
The prophet Isaiah described the coming Messiah as a “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Later, Jesus would tell his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27). Today, rejoice, pray, and praise the Creator God for Christmas—and the peace of God can be yours.
What do you think of when you think of peace? Times when it’s quiet? Or maybe a time in your life when you had no major problems?
At my house, when it’s really crazy, I tell my kids that I need to go to time-out in my bedroom for a while to get a little peace and quiet! But God’s peace surpasses all understanding. In other words, God can give us peace in times when it doesn’t even make sense that we can be peaceful.
Mary had great peace even though she had to travel to a distant place and deliver her baby in a stable. Joseph had peace when he found out Mary was having baby Jesus because Joseph was honoring God and Mary as he cared for his family. God’s peace doesn’t come only when things are good in our life; it is a peace we can count on no matter what situation we are in, good or bad.
There is nothing you can do today to cause or create the peace Paul was speaking about in these verses. Remember, Paul was writing this letter from a Roman prison, telling people to “rejoice.” Paul’s situation didn’t give him peace; Paul’s God gave him that gift of peace so that he could share it. He is your God as well.
You can be stuck running tons of errands today and have his peace. You can have problems in your family and have peace. You can have friendships at school that worry you and still have peace. You can be surrounded by Christmas chaos, crazy family celebrations, messy houses, loud relatives, or whatever these days may bring—and still have the peace of Christ guard your heart and mind.
One of the best ways to really experience the meaning of Christmas is to remember the quiet peace of Bethlehem. The God of the universe stepped onto the planet while the rest of the world was asleep. Jesus was then and still is the Prince of Peace. He wants to be your source of peace today.
On this Saturday before Christmas, Paul also reminds us, “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything.” Paul wrote those words while wearing chains in prison. He had definitely experienced the peace of Christ to be able to tell us not to be worried or anxious about anything.
In all your Christmas excitement and busyness, take time to put yourself in time-out and talk to Jesus today. Tell him what you need. He wants you to ask. Put your heart and mind on the story of Bethlehem. God loved you so much, he gave you Jesus.
Christmas peace is the gift God would most love to fill your life with today. It will be the same peace Mary felt as she held her newborn son. It will be the same peace Paul felt even when he was in prison. Whatever you have planned today, take time to pray and rejoice. Then, go do it all in peace.
We praise you, Lord, for the gift of Christmas. May we know peace this day even when things around us are less than peaceful