Read Isaiah 2:1-4. The lead up to Christmas can be a stressful time. If we’re not careful, we can become tired and irritable, snapping at those around us, or cursing those who jump in the supermarket queue ahead of us or cut us up on busy roads. Advent can become a time when we get our own swords and spears out! It might be the sword of cutting words or the spear of well-aimed elbows.
But that’s not what the real Christmas is all about! The grand vision laid out by Isaiah is not one of conflict, but one of peace; overwhelming, healing peace. Isaiah says that when Messiah comes nation will no longer fight nation, or even train for war anymore. All their weapons will be hammered into ploughshares and pruning hooks. Fighters will become farmers, soldiers will tend the soil, and troopers will tend the flocks.
Christmas is an opportunity to find peace with God. In Jesus Christ, God took on flesh and became one of us – a human being – because he no longer wanted us to be disconnected from him. Christmas is also an opportunity to find peace with others. The closer we are to God, the better our relationships will be. A relationship with God pulls us all closer together. Christmas is finally an opportunity to find the peace inside ourselves. To discover emotional peace. Wholeness. Shalom. The peace of God.
Will you lay down the arms of Christmas this year and find the real peace God longs to give you?
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
• When Christmas gets stressful, what are your weapons of choice? How could you hammer them into ploughshares and pruning hooks instead?