by Steve Wetzel
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
The Christmas Lie Down
In my younger years I started a tradition that I still keep to this day. My brothers and I would find a time in the evening close to Christmas when all the lights were up and ornaments were dangling from the trees’ branches and lie down underneath the tree with our heads on the tree skirt looking up into the mass of evergreen and twinkling lights. We would just lie there for a while, silent and just looking up. It was always beautiful. Peaceful. There comes a time each holiday season when it seems to all get overwhelming. The lights, the gifts, the parties, plays, concerts, and meals. Somehow, the season that brings peace to the world has become chaos. This is why I love my little tradition. It’s simple, and it works. For that time under the tree, I find peace - Not just quiet - but the peace of knowing that this is God’s time.
- What are some things that get in the way of our finding peaceful moments?
- As a family, look up and read Luke 2: 11-14
The News of Peace
Having a baby is anything but peaceful. The chaos that ensues when a mother is giving birth is a scary wonder to behold. But here we are in the story of Jesus’ birth with the angels declaring peace to the world. Peace in the midst of chaos. As you get to know God, that’s just how He rolls. Love instead of hate. Joy instead of fear. Peace instead of chaos. A baby instead of a conqueror. God’s kingdom and reign would be ushered in by the cry of a newborn destined for the cross.
- Have you ever received news that brought you peace?
- What is it about good news that brings peace?
The Chaos Aftermath
There comes a moment in our household after all of the Christmas present unwrapping that I think is my favorite. Maybe you share this moment as well, but for us there is a time of peace that descends over our house after the girls have ripped through the wrapping paper and all of the Christmas hubbub is done. All the expectations and waiting is done and we as a family share a time of peace, just enjoying the day together. I like to think that this is a small sliver of what heaven will be like and what those angels were talking about when they proclaimed God is the bringer of peace.
There will come a day when there will be nothing but joy, nothing but love, nothing but peace. There will come a day that I very much look forward too when I will lie on my back with God looking up into the marvelous lights. Oh what peace that will be.
- As a family, take some time for a Christmas lie down. It might sound weird, and be the source of giggles, but really, what's’ wrong with that. Have your family all find a spot to lay your heads together under the tree. Take time and look up into the twinkling lights and be silent together. Enjoy the peace. Remind each other of the day that is to come when God will bring this very same peace to the world.
Pray together as a family and enjoy the season.