The Christmas holiday for many people is attached to a deeply embedded need that every human being has to experience the joy of connection with other people, especially family and those that we love and care about. In the religious world, especially Christianity, the message and symbols of the season point to a belief that Christ is the source of the peace that is the essential theme of the Christmas message. Indeed, it is true that faith in the person of Christ as redeemer and Savior is the path to personal peace between God and man. Therefore, in that relationship there can be found, both a method and power to guide, structure, and build the elements of present peace, and eternal hope for peace in a person’s experience of life.
However, that is not the lived-experience of many people during the holiday season. Unfortunately, it is a time of when the void between the meaning, ideas, and symbols of the season are magnified in the experience of the Christmas season. A good question to pose in the holidays is why is there such a disconnect between the message of peace and the experience of people. Think for a moment, how much peace could be experienced in the midst of the celebration; if people who are without peace would surrender to the Prince of Peace during this wonderful time of year?
So Many Misappropriated Values
One of the issues that I have observed is that what seems to be important is not what people really feel or think is important. As a result, a chronic problem in American culture is the belief that having more will make us happier. In fact, it is not what we get during Christmas that satisfies the need each person has within to experience joy and be happy. In contrast, it is what we give from the heart that is the source of true blessing received in life. An effective axiom to cite here says, “blessed are they that give, for in giving, they shall break down the barriers that prevent the ability to receive.” Therefore, one of the evidences of culture disconnected from the value of giving is the profound sense of entitlement that people possess in the 21st Century. Many individuals hold the belief that they are owed something from others and when they do not get it, they feel that somehow they are unappreciated and are suffering unjust conditions in life. Indeed, every problem that we have is very real to us as individuals. However, peace will never be achieved in expecting, it will come through how we respond to challenge of personal need and the grace of giving that will make the difference in how we experience life. At the heart of a distorted misplaced values is the heart of a hurting person who believes that “I don’t deserve this to happen to me …. and this just is not fair.” The truth is that life is never fair, but in the midst of an unfair life, world, and experience. What we need to do is to stop and realize that beyond our feelings of disappointment, i.e., that we should always receive the best outcome in life to experience joy there is a Savior who knows every pain that we feel. Something to consider is that the times that produce the greatest faith are not when we are whole and everything is turning out right. It is when we are broken, feeling the weight of life, pressured by circumstances–tempting us beyond measure, that we are able to value the wonder of life and what we have been privileged to have. As a result, it is at these Divine intersections of life that we are able to experience the greatest potential for an expression of faith that enable the experience of peace.
The book of Romans says that because we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God. In the worst moment of Christ on the Cross, He surrendered all of life to God’s purpose in faith. Dying to self and living to God in a life of surrender is the greatest expression of faith, because when we have nothing else to give, we must trust God. Therefore it is at that moment, we have found the way that lasting peace can be found in the act of surrender to God.
- Christmas: A celebration of God’s love, God’s humility and God’s faithfulness (junjunfaithbook.com)
- Healing Faith (eudoranachand.wordpress.com)
- The Best Holiday In The World (atano123.wordpress.com)
- Tagle says it’s time for renewal of faith (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Christmas Message (bishopcraig.com)
- Adding a Burden: our journey to adoption joy!: When your Christmas is less than merry (caringdoula.wordpress.com)
- Happy Christmas! (scotterb.wordpress.com)
- Advent 3 – “No Doubt” (Luke 7:18-28) (revtucher.com)
- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing by Mark D. Roberts (lacykitkat.wordpress.com)
- Giving Our Children the Gift of Peace (peacefulwife.com)