Saturday Sermon: Christmas is an interesting time of year
Christmas is an interesting time of year. We talk about peace on Earth, and yet we find ourselves battling each other in wars of words. Peace itself is an interesting concept. The harder we try to achieve it, the further it seems to slip from us. That must be why true peace can only come from God himself through his only son who is the Prince of Peace - namely Jesus Christ.
Christmas is an interesting time of year and the reason may be that there is such a wide variety of emotions that come with this season of the year: Joy at all the celebrations, seeing family and friends along with the giving and receiving of gifts; anticipation of the coming of loved ones, of special gifts, worship and rest; fear of what the future might hold; sorrow for missing loved ones that are no longer in our midst and regrets over missed opportunities given to us by God and by others; surprise over the unexpected gift or actions of God or others; exhaustion of too much time spent on things unimportant; loneliness, a feeling of being forgotten; thankfulness in seeing the hand of God in our lives and the lives of others. Hope, the overwhelming gift that only God can give in giving the gift of his son.
Peace is all too often elusive, but there is an answer to this problem and it comes in the form of a child. God kept his promise to his people by giving his son up for us that we might be reconciled to him through Jesus Christ.
It is only through this reconciliation can we find peace. Isaiah says in chapter 42:6-7, "I, the Lord, have called you (the son) in righteousness, and will hold your hand; I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring the prisoners from prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house." God's peace ... God's Prince of Peace liberated us from the darkness that we might find his peace.
Christmas is an interesting time of year because the gift of Christmas is God's peace for all who are his. A peace based on God's work in our midst even when we don't "feel" him there. A peace that passes all understanding in the midst of grave and dire circumstances; "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
A peace that is totally dependant upon us being in relationship on a day-to-day basis with the one who saved us and grants us peace. This is what Christmas is all about.
Mike Singenstreu is pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church.