At first I was thinking, now wait- don't be trying to debunk Christmas!But I listened, and he was correct. Think about it harder, Mary was between the ages of 13 and 17, pregnant out of wedlock, and in an arranged marriage to a man 30 or older that she didn't know. The story placed into the historical context it requires revealed that she had most likely been disowned by her family. She was nine months pregnant riding on a donkey for miles and miles to pay taxes. When she got there she gave birth in a barn. Now I like barns- but it wasn't the picturesque scene we create it to be. She was alone with a man who knew nothing about women or birth, probably bearing it all to him and in an extremely dirty place. And she had to put her baby into a feed trough- I promise you, they are not tidy locations!
All of this was explained to remind us that while we love to make Christmas picturesque, the first Christmas really was not. He went on to explain that the phrase "Peace on Earth" appears in the Bible only once, when Jesus was stating that he did not come to bring Peace on Earth. The verse in Luke says that the angels claimed God would bring peace to those, "On whom his favor rests," meaning those who believe in him. We shouldn't expect peace to come in this word. What we should expect is that God sends us peace when we believe and trust in him, despite a tumultuous world. So I began thinking of the things that truly bring me peace and here is what I came up with:
It seems like regardless of the day's events and emotions I always have someone near to give me a hug, say something sweet, give me the right Bible verse, talk me through something. I will never be able to understand the amazing gift of my family and friends and how much peace and joy they bring to me.
I'm sure you all know by now that my Van Geaux is one of the major loves of my life! She is so comforting for me to have around. And I just worshiped my horse when I had him. The same goes for most animals with me. I just love to hug and cuddle them like a big nerd! There is something about that unfaltering love they give.
I just love to be outside (when the weather is cooperating). I always have my breath taken away by the majesty of this world.
I'm like Rory in The Gilmore Girls, I feel insecure if I don't always have a book with me. I pack one every morning even though I rarely read it until I get home at night.
Food & Drink
This is probably my most frivolous peace-bringer! But it's so true. I even love cooking and mixing my food and drinks. There's just something about that great flavor that brings comfort.
What brings you peace? Let's learn to focus on our peace-bringers. Because we live in a crazy world!