Shared with permission by author Nancy Kennedy from Lipstick Grace, Multnomah Publishers
Stop all the fighting and sniping. Cease the quibbling and the squabbling over whether “Merry Christmas” is politically correct or not.
Shhhh. Quiet. It’s okay.
Put away your credit cards. Your kids don’t need another computer-digital-anything. You and I don’t need any more debt. Our debt is crushing us as it is.
We need a debt canceler.
Be still, if only for a moment. It’s Christmas-our Debt Canceler has come.
Off in the distance dawns the light for the nations. The darkness is pierced, and the light will never, can never, be extinguished.
Stop your striving. Take a breath. Breathe deeply the life you’ve only dared to dream of. The life where you lie down and sleep in peace and awake with joy.
Put down the bottle. Put away your grudge.
Lower your fist. Kiss your kid. Forgive your dad. Love your wife.
The One who has borne our sin is born.
Our King forever, our Prince of peace, our Mighty God, has come to us, to live with us, identify with us, bear our sorrows, give us rest.
So rest. Stop.
At my church on Christmas Eve it’s our tradition to sing of peace and silence. “Pease, peace, peace on earth and goodwill to all.” “Silent night, holy night.” “Now let us all sing together of peace.”
Shhhh. All is calm. Christ has come.
He hasn’t come to wage war on retailers. He hasn’t come to battle Santa Claus or debate whether or not the fir tree is a pagan symbol. He hasn’t come to argue with local governments over crèches and menorahs in the public square.
The government, after all, is on His shoulders. He is Ruler. He is Lord, and He has come to set His people free. To rescue and redeem. To find the lost, bind the wounds of the broken, heal the hearts of the sad and grieving, the lonely and afraid.
He has come to give rest to the weary, direction to the wandering, purpose to those who think life has no meaning. He has come to still the restless hearts of men and women, to give hope to those who cannot even fathom hope, sight to the spiritually blind.
His law is love and His gospel is peace. His yoke easy, His burden light.
He is salve for tired eyes, a hand for the lonely to hold, a lap for the child at any age to climb upon, a shoulder broad and strong on which to lean and to cry.
So rest. Take your shoes off. Turn down the noise. Switch off the TV.
Even if you’ve never prayed before, it’s ok.
Do you hear that? Can you feel it? That soft smile? That’s your God, the One who came as a baby, a lamb, a lion, a Messiah.
Shhhh. Enjoy the silence. Cry if you need to. Laugh if you want to. Stretch out your hands. Touch the splintered cross He was nailed to. Accept the gift.
Embrace the salvation offered by the world’s only Savior.
Forget about the sweater that doesn’t fit, the broken gadget that needs to be returned. Exchange your broken life for one that’s new, your sin for Christ’s sinlessness, your peace for His peace, your sorrow and pain for His joy.
All your disappointments, all your unfulfilled dreams, all your confusion and brain noise and heart achings, set them down.
Be still now. So very, very still.
“The effect of the righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever,” wrote the prophet Isaiah. “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (32:17-18 ESV).
It’s Christmas and Chris has come to bring us into His quiet, to hush our fury, to still our rage and fear.
Christ is our gift. Jesus is our peace.
So, shhhh. It’s Christmas.
(Any typos or grammatical errors are all Cathy's.)