I hope you had a break over Christmas, and a good one. Christians are told many times about the reason for the season; God came down do live with us, and to save us:
We get that message from many directions. I think they will turn off the Christmas music in January.
There is another spiritual message at Christmas; “Peace” and this is illustrated by the opposite of ‘peace on Earth.’ Depression, loneliness, and even suicide are problems that get worse with the season. A big problem is the lack of family peace.
Most of us get together socially, with people we are supposed to like; but many of these people are almost strangers. I don’t see my family during the year, but for Christmas, and possibly Easter and Thanksgiving, we try to get together, and we try to get along.
We all have our own lives, with friends and neighbors, and other relatives, and it’s hard to pretend that we are close. My family had a meeting at one sister’s house. I brought Christmas crackers, those paper tubes that explode when you pull hard on both ends, and the good ones have a prize, and a paper crown to wear, and a bad joke to read out. The food was good, and the conversation was polite, and the crackers made us laugh; and then someone talked about politics.
Specifically, someone talked about politics in the U.S.A., and more specifically about the impeachment of President Trump. The first one to speak was a supporter of Donald Trump, and she said good things about him. That was a trigger for the other side, who formed an instant wolf-pack, and answered severely. It was like the split second before the bomb goes off. I quickly changed the subject to local politics, and I reminded everyone that we live in Canada, and we can’t vote in the U.S. That just brought more angry people into the brawl.
At that time, I did something I have never done before in my life, and something I may never do again. I held up my hand in front of my older brother, and told him to stop talking; at least about that topic. He ignored me and kept talking, so I repeated my order. We did this several times until the room became quiet.
That night, I extinguished a Christmas fight among Christians. Maybe I should feel good about that, but we will see what the future holds for me. The rest of the evening was peaceful, and cheerful, on the surface.
Like so many families, we were willing to commemorate the arrival of the Prince of Peace, with a fight, or at least an argument.
This is such a common problem that someone made a song about it, showing what we should do:
Someone else analyzed the problem, and gave us detailed advice:
I have discovered an important thing in my life; God gave me peace. I made a decision to be a Christian, which means I want to follow Jesus more than I want to belong to religious organization. One of the first benefits I found was personal peace, even when there was no peace around me. That’s probably why I put my hand up against my relatives. I hate to lose one of the best things in my life. No victory in an argument can compare to personal peace.
No personal victory is so important, that I can throw away a gift from God. I am a different person now, from the one who first asked God for a new life. Now, I want it all, and I don’t want to go back. I want to open all of my presents at Christmas.
Jesus told us peace is important: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14: 27)
He said it, and He meant it, for the darkest places. If you have the time, here’s a story about the Prince of Peace living with us:
I hope you were able to open all of your presents this Christmas, including the really big ones from God.