Peace be with you...
By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor
"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."
As we near the anniversary of the birth of our Savior, I think about the shepherds. After Mary and Joseph, they were the first to be chosen to meet the Messiah. They're out on this cold night tending their flock when angels come to them and tell them the good news. From what we read in scripture, their experience is a very peaceful one where they follow the directions of the angels, find Jesus, and bow before Him.
In the nativity scene, itself, we see this image of the Prince of Peace. Even though He's in a manger in a place not designed for newborn babies, where injuries could happen and the environment is dirty, nonetheless there's a sense of real peace, tranquility, and even joy and celebration.
Something is different. The event, which we now call Christmas, is heralding that, possibly, 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 whole world, 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, into my heart, and into yours.
That's exactly what the Christmas story is about - peace - and it begins with you, and it begins with me, right in our hearts. Be assured that, with the arrival of baby Jesus, Christ can now enter our broken, chaotic lives and cause us to live in peace, in shalom.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the peace of Jesus. Just like the shepherds, living lives of want and discomfort, it only took Jesus to change their lives forever. Continue to fill my life with your peace...with your shalom. Amen.