Bible Verse: After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” Matthew 2:13–15, NLT
Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13–15; John 16:16-33
The threat of an assassination attempt soon disrupted the peace of the silent night of Christmas, and the migrant family would be displaced again, this time to Egypt. King Herod, paranoid he might lose power and blinded with rage that the Wise Men had betrayed him, began the murder of all infant boys in that area. It is easy to forget that the beauty of the Christmas narrative was broken by violence and hatred.
This is a sober reminder that our world can still be a scary place and often less than peaceful. Hatred, violence, and warfare are still all too common. Peace can be a precious and lacking commodity, and many things try to steal it.
Some people can destroy our peace — negative voices with their non-stop doom and gloom, those that attack or berate us online, and strained relationships that cause our hearts to break.
Some situations can disrupt our peace — upheaval around the globe, the constraints of a struggling economy, political polarization and fractured communities.
Some thoughts can disturb our peace — self-doubt, fear, anxiety and depression.
There will be many things that can create a problem for peace. But in a troubled world, let’s be reminded that the Incarnation inaugurated a peace that rises above circumstances and challenges. It is a lasting peace that can withstand the deepest sorrow and the most painful situations.
This Christmas, hear and embrace the words of Jesus in John 16: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT).
The world may be less than peaceful, but that does not mean we must live without peace in our hearts, minds, and relationships. The Prince of Peace has gifted us His peace.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for living without the peace You came to provide. Please help me to trust You no matter what is happening in the world around me. Amen.
Reflection: Where do you feel a lack of peace? Fear? Anxiety? What voices inform your sense of peace — voices in the media and social media, or the Prince of Peace?
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