Piece of Mind?
The count-down to Christmas continues. There’s yet more to do, and less and less time to do it. Add all the interruptions, delays, and waiting in line. Your To-Do List gets longer instead of shorter. Wait, you know you’ve forgotten something – now what was it?
The reason for the season.
For two cents you’d give that postal clerk a piece of your mind – if you had a piece to spare. And that sales clerk – what a piece of work! Not to mention that with the cancellations as well as additions of unexpected guests, your perfect plans for the perfect Christmas dinner are coming to pieces. Piece-meal, so to speak.
Or Peace of Mind?
It’s easy to misplace your peace in the commercial-driven frenzy of the “holidays.” As Anita Renfroe says in A Purse-Driven Christmas,
“That’s why it’s called ‘keeping’ your peace. Only you can keep it, and that is a decision that must be made ahead of time. You can’t wait until you’re under severe pressure and then hold on to peace.”
From the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler, we learn that “the LORD is Peace.” YeHoVaH Shalom is one of the titles of God. At Christmastide we celebrate the birth of Yeshua, the Prince of Peace.
Shalom7965 is a Hebrew word so much richer in its range of meaning than the usual translation to the English word “peace,” which usually refers to the absence of outward conflict or to a state of inner calm. The concept of shalom includes these ideas, but goes beyond them, meaning wholeness, completeness, finished word, perfection, safety, and wellness.
Further, Ann Spangler writes of shalom:
“In its deepest meaning, it expresses the hope that …[one] may be well in every sense of the word – fulfilled, satisfied, prosperous, healthy, and in harmony with themselves, others, and God.”
We Are Human Beings, Not Human Doings
Peace is not in a big IRA, the perfect relationship, a fancy job title, or a lot of money.
Real peace comes only from time spent being in the presence of God. After all, He made us human beings, not human doings.
Finally my mind and my body cry “enough.”
I stop what I am doing.
So that I can be still.
So that I can remember the reason for the season.
And in that quiet time, when I listen and focus on Him, God pieces back together the ragged quilt-squares of my life.
Piece-by-piece, He repairs my tattered temper. He renews my flagging strength. He restores me to be complete and whole.
15“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts” Colossians 3:15a ESV
Piece-by-piece the scattered fragments of my heart and my life come together in the Messiah. God in Jesus, Yeshua in me, I in Him.
20 “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20 NAS
Then I remember the reason for the season.
By focusing on Jesus, you, too, can claim the promise given in Isaiah 26:3.
3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
You, too, can know, know for yourself, know by experience, know for sure:
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 ESV
And as Christmas arrives, as God is with us, as we meet Immanuel, all of us can join with the angel hosts in “praising God:
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13, 14 ESV
Questions for Thought
- Be sure to get family members’ input, too.
- Write down all you did for Christmas last year.
- How much did you spend?
- Where did you go? With whom? Why?
- What did you do? With whom? Why?
- How much did you decorate?
- How much entertaining did you do? How much did you go to?
- Who did you invite to your social events? Why?
Look through the Remembrance info.
- Draw a line through the things you don’t want to be the same as before.
- Put stars beside the things you think would be good to keep.
- What was your and your family’s favorite parts of celebrating Christmas?
- What parts of Christmas stressed you and your family ?
- Are your “Family Traditions” Christ-focused?
- Can you change the focus to Christ?
- Did you over-spend? Did you over-commit? Did you over-indulge?
- What could you choose not to do this year?
- Is there anything you would like to add to your celebration this year?
- Does it add meaning? Spiritual growth? Joy?
Christmas Values statement
- Choose what values you want as the basis of your family’s Christmas Celebration.
- Does your Christmas celebration point to the Nativity or to the world? To the Manager or to the Mall?
- What do you want your family to learn by celebrating Christmas?
- What do you want your family to teach others through the celebration of Christmas?
Write down these Values and keep them in front of you as you cast your Vision for your family’s celebration.
Until next time…
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Please join me in this journey of discovery.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!