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.
On Sundays, we have three options for Worship & Praise! Please join us:
- Outdoors at 8:30 & Indoors 10:30am
- Via live-stream at 10:30am on Facebook
Please read the Guidelines for Gathering to Worship Together at MCC in its entirety so that you know what to expect when you come to our outdoor service. This will help you and those around you navigate a very new situation, hopefully in a way that is as seamless as possible. We believe that our unity will be expressed and strengthened as we serve one another in Christ this week so join us in extending grace to each other, amid our differing perspectives, and different views about how to live in this time.
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Please know that we are making every effort for this gathering to be in full compliance with the protocols given by authorities. No single plan for our meeting will ever be the perfect solution in any one person’s eyes. We will all be making compromises. But as we defer to these guidelines set up by our elders and leadership, we will be serving our fellow believers, honoring Christ as best we can, and providing for a beautiful expression of worship to happen together.
Please stay home if any of the following apply to you:
- You are immunocompromised.
- You are feeling ill (running a fever, coughing, or showing other signs of sickness)
Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. Thank you for staying home and staying safe, because we love you!