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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 12/22/20

Jesus Brings the Gift of Peace

May the Author of Christmas sing his songs of peace into your heart. ~Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: Christmas Carols

I don’t know about you, but for me, Christmas celebrations would not be complete without music. It uplifts me and I feel like I’m floating in air—transported to a different time and place without problems and trials. Since I’m self-isolating due to being high-risk for COVID-19, this year Christmas looks different. I’m not shopping in stores, so I don’t get to hear the sounds and see the sights of the holiday there.

Instead, I get my fill of Christmas music other ways. I program my smart TV to play the top Christian Christmas tunes on YouTube. I watch Christmas variety shows. I catch myself humming the tunes when I’m busy doing other things.

I think back to Christmas programs I’ve enjoyed at church previous years. I sang in Christmas pageants and cantatas. Joined in on congregational Christmas hymns. Watched the children perform Christmas musicals. Children, music, and Christmastime—all of my favorite things!

And if I remember back far enough, I think about the times I went Christmas caroling. I started caroling as a Girl Scout in third grade. Then as a teen, I went to homes and nursing facilities with my friends, bringing them Christmas cheer. As an adult, we loaded up in a hay truck strung with Christmas lights, filled with carolers, to sing to shut-ins. I’ve caroled in some fashion or another at least 30 of my 58 years.

Christmas music was a part of that very first Christmas, too. I can’t even imagine what it was like to hear the angelic choir as they sang. But we can sing a different kind of song than the angels. The angels knew the Christ-child as the Son of God who dwelled in heaven prior to his earthly birth. But we can know the Son of God as our personal Savior, something the angels will never know.

Being redeemed by Jesus Christ—don’t you think that gives all of us something to sing about? Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

May we pray to the Author of Christmas and ask him to sing his songs into our hearts so that we might sing them to others as we share the Good News of peace.

Merry Christmas!

STUDY: The Prince of Peace

"For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)
  • What are some of the names of Jesus, according to this passage?
  • How is he the Prince of Peace in your life?
  • When you look at the other names listed in this verse, does it deliver more peace to you personally, knowing Jesus is involved in all these areas—not just for the world, but for each of us individually?
  • Sometimes we gloss over these passages because we think of Jesus as a baby in this part of his on-earth timeline. Somehow, thinking of him as a baby can tend to weaken the impact of what his incarnate life (God in human flesh here on earth) does for us.
"This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all." (Acts 10:36 NLT)
  • So much of the good news is the message of peace. How does the gospel provide you with peace?
  • What does this passage say is the source of peace?
  • How is the God-factor so important to the acquiring and spreading of peace?
"To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." (Luke 1:79 NLT)
  • Part of the purpose of Jesus coming to earth is to do what?
  • Isn’t it interesting to see the pairing here? He gives light to those who are in darkness or death shadows and guides us toward a peace journey.
  • How is traveling further away from darkness and closer to the Light a peace walk?
  • This passage is also potent for those who are on a peace walk toward their last days on earth (the shadow of death). May their path be illuminated with the light of the Peace-giver.
  • What contrast do you see between darkness and light, between shadows of death and peace? How does peace bring life?
"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27 NLT)
  • When was the last time you looked at peace as a gift from Jesus? It’s a peace that soothes both the mind and the heart—he knows right where we need it!
  • Jesus lived on earth long enough to know that the world apart from him does not offer this kind of peace. It’s like an exclusive bonus when we are in a growing relationship with him. This gift helps us not be troubled or afraid. When we find ourselves feeling worried or fearful, what do we have to do to get to a place of peace?

STEPS: Tapping into the Source of Peace

  1. Think of who Jesus is. When you read the verses that describe Jesus as a baby, remind yourself of his God-roles. Realizing the full effect of his attributes will help you maximize your perspective of Jesus.
  2. Hunt down peace! You know where to find it. It’s simply a matter of receiving that gift he has lovingly prepared for you.

Copyright © 2020 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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