12/11/2017

Joel Denny

PEACE

John 14:26-27

When I think of the concept of peace, I often think of Christmas time…not just Christmas, but a White Christmas. Why do we so often have fond memories of Christmases where snow is involved? Seems kind of odd, when you truly think about it, to think fondly of Christmas covered in a substance that makes roads slippery, makes my back ache from shoveling, and can cause power outages. Yet every year, as Christmas draws near, I always dream of a White Christmas (just like the ones I used to know).

When snow is coming down, it is almost a magical experience. I live out in the country, so when it snows, everything becomes quiet. It’s almost like you can hear the silence as the snow muffles ambient noises, almost like a brush stroke of a painter. Even when I lived in the city, the snow still had a quieting, settling effect; everything feels closer. There’s beauty in the snowfall as it transforms the landscape into something more pristine and untouched, covering up the dead brown and bare colors of winter. When you snuggle in with your family, focusing on the birth of our Savior on a Christmas Eve while the snow is falling outside, it is incredibly peaceful.

We need more peace! Our lives are so harried and stressed! There are things in our lives, like our family, friends, jobs, and other things, that keep us so busy it is hard to focus on anything other than ourselves, especially when we let sin into our routines. But Jesus can be like snow to us! When we focus on Him, the noise of the world lessens, and in that silence we can start to hear God speaking to us. Jesus settles us down and our heavenly Father feels closer. He transforms us into something beautiful, as His blood covers our sin and the death sin causes.  Even though Jesus is no longer physically here with us, His presence lives on in the Holy Spirit, giving us peace, comfort, and guidance. In John 14:26-27, Jesus said, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Pursue Jesus. Abide in the confidence and assurance of the power of the Holy Spirit, and peace will cover your life like a fresh blanket of snow falling outside while you are all snuggled in, waiting to praise the glory of the newborn King on Christmas morning.