Let it begin with me...
By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor
"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace."
On Christmas Eve, I think about the shepherds. They're out on this cold night tending to their flocks when the angels come to them and tell them the good news. From scripture, we read that, despite the enormity of their experience, it is very peaceful as they come to see Jesus and bow before Him.
In the nativity scene, itself, we see the Prince of Peace. Even though he's in a manger in this place not designed for newborn babies, where injuries could happen and the environment is dirty, there's a sense of real peace, tranquility, and even joy and celebration.
Now, something is different. The peace that surrounds what could have been a very horrible situation in this stable, maybe that peace won't just stop there. Maybe it's not an event in and of itself, mutually exclusive of the world around it. Perhaps, just maybe, this baby boy will bring shalom, will bring peace to the people, to Israel, to Syria, to the uttermost parts of the world. This peace that is right there in this manger, maybe it will enter into the hearts of broken and hurting people everywhere.
That's exactly what the Christmas story is about - peace - and it begins with you, and with me, right in our hearts. With the arrival of baby Jesus, he was able to enter our very angry, broken, chaotic lives, causing us to live in peace, in shalom.
Peace is available to each one of us through Christ in us. At Christmas, Jesus came to be our Prince of Peace.
Prayer: Dear Lord, on this Christmas Eve, despite what is going on around me, let me feel your peace. And as I interact with the people around me, let your peace begin with me. Amen.