7th Day of Christmas

by Matthew B. Harper

Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it, The LORD is peace. (Judges 6:24)

During this holiday season the word ‘peace’ is always before us. It decorates our Christmas cards, our homes, our clothes, and graces our lips. But even though we say it, do we really live it? Do we understand it? Can we?

Peace, by the worlds standard, is simply the lack of violence. That is a good and noble thing, but the peace of the Lord is much deeper and fuller than this. Jesus called it the peace that ‘passeth understanding,’ that is exactly what he meant. To say, even for a moment ‘oh, I get it,’ is to contradict Christ. No, we don’t ‘get it,’ we don’t understand it, but we can receive it, we can experience it, and by the grace of God we can live in it.

The peace that God gives is a deep restfulness, despite whatever else is going on, because the very depths of your soul is rooted and grounded in the love God has for you. It is a peace that cannot be bought, and cannot be sought; it is a peace that comes to us as a gift, and only as a gift. It can only be received. It is a peace that speaks quietly to us and calms us in the middle of the storm. It is a quiet calm that tells us to trust, not to fear, not to worry, and to rest in God’s hand. It is a peace that God gives to creation, and it is the present that Christ brought to us in his birth.

It is a peace that comes from knowing every moment is sacred unto God. It is a peace that comes from knowing that God pays little heed to prison fences, bars, or walls, but is always present with us. It is the peace that permeates every moment of our lives, and call us back to God.

It is this peace that I wish for you this day.

O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come, and behold Him, born the King of Angels; O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ, The Lord. (Hymn 83)

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