Friday, December 25, 2009

Let There Be Peace (and Joy) on Earth

I remember the first time I ever saw real snow in Colorado. Growing up in south Texas, snow was really scarce and not ever enough to totally cover the ground. On the rare occasion when it snowed, our snowmen had dirt and twigs mixed in, from rolling the snowball across the ground just to pick up enough snow to make a humble snowman! But in the Colorado mountains, it was everywhere, as far as the eye could see! breathtaking.

What is it about snow that creates such joy? Maybe it is because where my family lives now, in north Texas, it is an unexpected delight! We don't expect it every winter, and lately, it happens once in February just before spring. It sticks for a couple of days and then melts away to usher in spring. This year, we had snow in November and for the first time since we have lived here, on Christmas Eve. It felt like a special gift! We were so excited and will remember it for years to come, I am sure.

Waking up this Christmas morning, the snow covered-houses, trees, and ground created such a peaceful scene after the blustery snowfall the night before. Breathtaking joy and peace. My thoughts immediately turned to thanking God for such a gift!

I Chronicles 16:27 (NLT) says that joy fills His dwelling. I personally cannot look at creation (and snow!) and not believe in a Creator God. John 14:27 (NLT) says, "I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid." The message of Christmas is that the Prince of Peace has come!

One of my favorite songs is Let There Be Peace on Earth. Many are looking for the same kind of peace the Jews were looking for at the time of Jesus' birth. They were looking for a Messiah to bring peace with human weapons and armies -- a great warrior king who would defeat and destroy the Romans who occupied Palestine.

However, we can have peace and joy NOW, in a chaotic world because Christ has overcome the world and sent His gift of peace and joy through the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him. In Romans 15:13 (NLT) Paul writes, "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

The Christmas snow reminds me of God's gift of joy and peace that He sent when "...he became flesh and made his dwelling among us.." (John 1:14, NIV). "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!"

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