This beautiful thought printed on the front of today's church bulletin grabbed my attention and warmed my heart! It must have been placed there just for me!
This Christmas season has been and will be "different" for John David and me in several ways. Because of illness in the family, we have not done a lot of in-store shopping, and we missed our annual church party. Even my decorating has been reduced; I finally got the tree up a few days ago. Knowing that all of our family won't be here puts a different perspective on our celebrations, too.
I guess you could say that Christmas has quietly entered our home and our lives. Not a lot of hustle and bustle here with preparations for Christmas! Yes, it looks to be a quieter, simpler, "different" Christmas for us.
But I've come to realize that using words such as "quieter" . . . "simpler" . . . "different" does not diminish the real Christmas spirit. It'll still be Christmas . . . a celebration in our hearts of the birth of our Savior . . . a time to cherish our family and friends . . . a time to count our blessings and the gifts lavished upon us by the One born in that quiet, simple stable on a silent night so long ago. Maybe we won't keep every tradition that is ordinarily a part of the Christmas season for us, but it'll still be Christmas!
This question comes to my mind: What was ordinary or traditional about that very first Christmas night? There's nothing ordinary about a young virgin girl giving birth to the Savior of mankind! Nothing traditional about a King entering the world in a stable and becoming one of us . . . or Peace lying in a feed trough . . . or Hope being visited by lowly shepherds.
No, that first Christmas was like no other!
Maybe this holy season will be the most unusual we've ever experienced. Maybe anxious thoughts and moments of wishing for a Christmas like we've always had will creep into our hearts and minds. Not maybe . . . but probably!
But I choose peace . . . in spite of circumstances (which I realize could be SO much more difficult) . . . I choose peace.
And I won't find it in hustling and bustling . . . or in shopping . . . or in gatherings . . . or in decorations . . . or in traditions . . . or even in my beloved family.
Peace comes quietly . . . Christmas comes quietly . . . into my heart . . . because I know and trust the Prince of Peace, who is "bigger than any problem, bigger than any fear."
"He whispers sweet peace to me . . . "