This past weekend we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. It is the season, once gain, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. As I think about "cause and effect," I'm overwhelmed when I realize all that God has done for us through Jesus. His birth, his life, his teaching, his ministry of healing, his provision and friendship, his suffering, his death, his resurrection... well, it's almost too much to consider. In the season of Christmas we acknowledge that God in Jesus Christ is HERE WITH US. He's here with you. He's here with me. Whether we are working at our job, hanging the Christmas lights, doing the laundry, fixing supper, reading to the kids or grandkids, looking at the checkbook to pay the bills, sitting in the hospital room, God is here with us. In spite of all that is going on around us, God is here with us. Now that's what I call the foundation of true peace.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist says: "I was so foolish and ignorant -- I must have seemed like a senseless animal. YET, I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart. He is mine forever."
Jesus was born a human child and he was called Emmanuel, which means "God with us." He was here in human flesh for 33 years. Then he sent his Spirit to be with us always: today, tomorrow, always, every day, every circumstance, every situation. To me, that's the solid foundation of true peace. We are never alone. God is always by our side. We can live in peace, assured of God's presence and love.
Make this your prayer today: "Father, thank you that you are not in some far away, unreachable place. Thank you that you are here with us -- not just in this Christmas season -- but right now today and forever. Amen."
May you experience great peace in the midst of whatever is going on in your life this Christmas season. You are unconditionally loved by God and by me.