Peace: Receiving

PEACE. It is the second week of Advent.  Only 14 days till Christmas.  The ads are already warning us that we cannot buy and have gifts delivered in time.  I have finally found my video, The Nativity, and will play it Sunday evening to review the narrative of the historical story and again see God’s hand moving in history.  My music is playing.  I still need to send cards to the “beloved” and well, those I am trying to stay in relationship with and find peace with in spite of our differences.  Sigh.  The gospel of John, similar to the gospel of Mark we looked at yesterday, offers a perspective on Christmas peace but tracking back to creation.  John 1:10-13 shares about Jesus’ birth,

                  10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;     yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and      his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who        believed in his name, he gave power to become children of   God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the          will of man, but of God.

Do you remember receiving a gift, a letter, a token of friendship and the sigh deep in your soul as you realized the other did remember you, did cherish you, and was reaching out to you?  At that moment there is a deep sense of peace in the soul that all is right in the universe.  The feeling lasts only a moment but those moments when I receive, when I realize the giftedness of that moment, when I allow the worries in my soul to melt away – even if momentarily, I am at peace. 

         Sleepless in Seattle, a beloved video, captures that sense as the mother tells her daughter about meeting the man she knew she would marry and in that moment knew everything would be alright.  “It was magic,” she says.  Her daughter starts a search for that magic moment and realizes it at the top of the Empire State building as she meets Tom Hanks. Sighhh.  Perhaps it is a chick-flick but we do search for those moments.

         Christ was part of the creation of the world, the Word that was spoken, and yet as God there was a divide with the creation.  There is no more walking and talking in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening because of sin.  We cannot see this God we talk about.  Our senses are limited as well as our life.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  At Christmas time we are reminded that God resolves the distance by coming to us in an unthreatening tiny baby, offering us love, his life offering insight into his character, his deeds offering healing, and the cross offering reconciliation with him.  We choose to receive the gift, as we believe.  In that “aha moment” we find peace with God and the “power to become children of God…born of his will,” not ours.

         Christmas is about stories, the stories of our lives.  Christmas is about music.  Christmas is about relationships.  Christmas for Christians is about the gift of peace as God enters his creation to offer us the gift of being his children.  May we take a moment today and breath in the “aha” and peace of that truth.  Blessings as you prepare! 

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