COLUMN: Peace is at the heart of the holiday season

There’s something about the Christmas season that seems to magnify our lives and circumstances

  • Dec. 24, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Faith that Matters by Simon Gibson

There’s something about the Christmas season that seems to magnify our lives and circumstances: we reflect more and tend to feel either extremely cheerful or, occasionally, extremely morose.

It’s not surprising, really; after all, there is an intensity to the time which can be about the urgency of shopping – often without the requisite budget  and the expected excitement of socializing, even if family and friends are not available.

The season also magnifies our sense of anticipation: it’s all about one day and so we focus our activities and thought life on achieving the “perfect” Christmas celebration.  Anything less would be disappointing and causes us to feel like a failure.

Christmas, of course, was conceived to be something quite different.

Peace, which eludes many of us in our fast-moving society, is at the heart of the season.

Gifts and the pleasures of conviviality, while desirable, are often temporary indulgences.

Peace, too, is enduring – it is not achieved at the last minute.

Genuine peace is a way of life: it is who we are, whether alone or with friends, family or co-workers.

It is not a synonym for happiness – peace is much more than that.

Being happy may be a high ideal in our modern culture, but most of us know how fleeting it is.

Why not make this a Christmas that is truly grounded in peace?

Take a few moments to reflect on your blessings but also on those things that upset you – secrets that would disappoint others if they knew about them.

All the bad things we have done – the Bible calls them sin – deprives us of peace and separates us from God.

Perhaps you are familiar with the most-quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus, who was perfect, accepted death on a cross, once and for all, to take away your sins and allow you to live a life of victory and peace.

We celebrate Christmas at this time of the year to remember the birth of Jesus – the Prince of Peace.  Today would be the perfect time to accept Jesus and confess your sins.  Don’t wait – do it now.

Simon Gibson writes Faith that Matters which appears in the Abbotsford News