What is it about waking up early to see that snow has fallen while you were sleeping? As I stand on the porch, I don’t hear anything. Just a calm quietness. All around are fresh patches of snow that haven’t been disturbed by any critters, neither the two footed nor four footed kind. The white is so bright that even in the early hours, the darkness seems to evaporate. The cold is beginning to seep in, but I remain outside feeling no motivation to begin my day scurrying from this activity to the next. I’d rather just stand and enjoy because……it’s just so…..peaceful.
As Jesus is talking to HIS disciples in John 14, HE promises in verse 27:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”
If you are like me, you can so easily find yourself asking (or in my case, demanding), “Jesus, where is that peace!?!”
And if you’re like me, you might be just as apt to be reminded by Him that Paul told you where that peace is in Philippians 4:4-7:
“Rejoice in the LORD always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The LORD is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
So simple right? It’s right there for the receiving, and Paul laid out exactly what I need to do to have that peace.
But it’s often easy to believe the world: I need to make more money. AND build a bigger house. AND bake food for all the neighbors within an 80 mile radius. AND participate in the 12 Dinner Parties of 2018. AND go into debt in order to have ample things for my family and friends under the tree. AND either have myself or my children participate in every activity offered in our area. AND…. AND…..no! There are no “ANDs” for what I need to do, and the list is so simple.
Rejoice. It’s so simple, he even repeats himself….again, I will say, rejoice! Pray with a thankful heart.
That’s it. It doesn’t require more money. It doesn’t require more time working at the office or around the house. It doesn’t require any great skills. It transcends age, work experience, or any other demographic. Simply rejoice and pray with a thankful heart. THEN, that peace will come.
So simple, but I get so caught up in other things that I miss it. I think that’s why I love this time of year. Not just because it’s a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, but I find myself finishing the story and moving ahead to what He did for me on the cross. Knowing I would still struggle with certain sins, still struggle with wanting to “be good enough”, still struggle with dying to self, My Savior still chose to leave His throne and come in the form of a baby, the weakest creation, to submit Himself to His Father’s will, to place Himself at the mercy of those around Him to care for His needs as an infant and child, to grow in wisdom and stature, to face trial upon trial, to be persecuted, to refrain from commanding His army of angels to come to His defense, to walk that painful path to His death, and to conquer death……..simply to give me life everlasting. Not only me, but anyone who will repent and call upon HIS name and Believe.
Rejoice. Again, I will say, rejoice!! Webster defines rejoice this way, “to experience joy and gladness in a high degree; to exult.”
When I consider Christ lying in that humble manger, I can’t help but rejoice and pray with thanksgiving for what HE willingly has done for me, and as HE promised, HIS peace comes. Filling me completely. Causing my anxieties to evaporate. Without fanfare. Quietly. So that in the midst of the chaos of the world…..I am peaceful. Just like the snow.
MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch this Sunday, January 12 after second service in the Fellowship Hall. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! No RSVP needed. Contact Sarah with questions.
It’s time for The CareNet Baby Bottle drive! Please take a bottle off the table in the foyer, fill it with your spare change or cash, and return it to the table by January 19! Contact Joann Tallant with any questions.
The MCC Missions Team is hosting "Missions in Focus" Tuesday, January 21 and Wednesday, January 22 at MCC! It is a family-friendly, interactive event celebrating what God is doing locally and internationally! Enjoy a cultural meal, hear speakers active in local and foreign missions, and participate in activities for a chance to win prizes. Each night will be unique, educational and fun! Contact Emily Gray to RSVP or get involved!
The Women’s Community Bible Study resumes Tuesday, January 14 at 6:30pm AND Wednesday, January 15 at 9:15am with Max Lucado’s “Unshakable Hope” study. Childcare is available for the Wednesday morning study only. Contact Pam Cravens for Wednesday mornings or Sharon Albonico for Tuesday evenings.
Praying with others in community is rich! Join us any weekday morning for prayer at 6:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Contact Scott Walker for more info.
We are updating the church directory and will be taking new directory photos January 19 and 26 in the Fellowship Hall! Please make sure to update your contact information and your photo if A) we don’t have it in the current directory or B) you look different than you did 3 years ago! Either way, we’d like a new photo and updated contact for you so please stop by and update your info!
Looking for some Biblical financial tools for 2020? Come join us for the Living Debt Free Workshop on February 1 from 9:00am – 3:00pm in the Fellowship Hall! Practical topics including what the Bible says about money, how to set up a spending plan, saving, debt payoff, and more! Lunch and child care provided! Sign up in the foyer or call Elisa Trullinger.