In fifteen days, Christmas arrives.
Children love the excitement of special programs, school vacation, and gifts to open. Adults anticipate an end to the frazzled holidays and a return to normal routines.
Christmas often brings family and friends together who otherwise make a point to avoid each other. This yearly get-together is fraught with tension and anxiety. Fears of hearth and home assault our minds and make us miserable.
What if I accidentally say something that antagonizes dad again?
Mom will reprimand my kids.
I never do anything to please my in-laws.
My gifts won’t measure up to theirs.
Aunt Sally doesn’t approve of my tattoos.
Grandma Bootsy dislikes my husband.
Uncle Bob talks politics non-stop.
Cousin Kay expects me to bow down to her.
If Grandpa teases me about me green hair again, I’ll scream.
And the throb of misery continues as we anticipate family hostilities on the Holiest of Days.
When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they spoke these words: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to all men.”
So on days where many of us experience family wretchedness, what happened to glory to God and the peace on earth? Hmmm. God receives no worship through our animosity to mankind, and we receive no peace from our bickering back and forth.
When the angels uttered these words, “peace to men,” they weren’t proclaiming a war of words would conclude or countries would forever be at a ceasefire. The angels meant that Jesus is the bridge that crosses us into God’s acceptance.
Jesus came to Earth, giftwrapped in cloth. You see, His Father sent this bundle of salvation and laid it in a manger. And God’s gift came circled with a blood red ribbon. Each day, the beautiful package begs for someone to open the box and claim this costly gift.
Thus, through this offering from heaven, we can have peace with God. Just not always with our families and each other.
Wouldn’t be remarkable if this Christmas we build a bridge with our family members as God did to us?
Glory to God in the Highest, and may we have peace on earth this season at our household gatherings.