Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace
(Franz Gruber 1818)
Peace, heavenly peace. Those words are the essence of Christmas. As I type these words I feel my shoulders relax from their tension, my brow ceases its furrow, and my body sinks deeper into my chair. Such a calming word is peace, so full of assurance, security, and serenity.
This particular word of the season can be found throughout the Christmas story.
Peace was prophesied, peace was promised, peace was provided. The angels who made their appearing first to Zechariah, then to Mary, and finally to the shepherds implied peace each time they proclaimed, “Fear not! I bring you good tidings of great joy!”
Fear not! Calm down! Don’t worry, strive, or stress. Peace. Yes peace, will diminish your fears and calm your heart. Breathe in peace and breathe out the worries and anxieties that permeate your mind, body, and soul.
I can only imagine the stress that the characters of Christmas carried. Zechariah, an old man, told by the Angel Gabriel that his barren wife, too old to conceive, would give birth to a son. Silenced until the boy came to be, peace would have been his friend, his confidant and his silent companion those nine months.
And Mary! Talk about anxiety! Pregnant out of wedlock? This was a horrifying scandal, yet peace presided over Mary as the Angel handed her the news that she was carrying the Christ-child conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Her response, though simple flowed from a life of celestial peace.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
But this peace, the peace of God, was prophesied years before the baby Jesus’ advent. Long, long before the promised prince would make His way to a stable, the prophets foretold of Him. And then one-day peace would not just be prophesied or promised, peace would be provided through the King, born baby, yet crucified wearing a crown hanging on a cross.
Yes, peace. Peace came to us through the provision of the babe sleeping in a manger who would one day hang high for you and for me.
That kind of peace provides abundant power for daily living. That kind of peace ushers in calm in crisis. That kind of peace yokes a weary and burdened soul with the Prince of Peace.
Let’s take a few moments and look at God’s Word so we can unpack the full meaning of this small, yet impactful expression. Allow these Scriptures to nourish your soul and fill you with the all-surpassing peace of your Savior.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
The promised crown prince would usher in peace!
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3
The peace of God is perfect, but it comes with a price – trust!
O LORD, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works. – Isaiah 26:12
The Lord commands and establishes peace; we can manufacture it on our own.
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. – Isaiah 54:10
God made a covenant of peace with us. A covenant cannot be broken! His peace is forever!
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28
Peace gives your soul the rest and restoration it needs, but you must surrender to it.
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. – John 14:27
Peace is a free gift!
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Peace is found in Jesus!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:6-8
God’s peace rules if we give Him free reign!
I recently read this quote by Sheila Walsh …
Peace is not the absence of trouble but the presence of Christ.
Will you reside in the presence of Jesus this season so that His peace can live in you?
Unwrap the gift of calm, quiet, harmony, freedom, and order this holiday season. Open your heart to the Prince of Peace!
Who in your sphere of influence needs peace in their life this holiday? Will you use your Words of Christmas to shape and share a gift with someone who needs this season to be more than a sappy sentiment or trite turn of phrase? Infuse the blessing of peace into someone you know. That will be the best gift you can give!