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Summary: Some may think it a contradiction to talk of peace at Christmas. For many of us Christmas brings conflict rather than peace.

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The Peace of the Puzzle

John 14:27

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Psalms 85:8

8 I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints but let them not return to folly.

John 16:33 NIV

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Some may think it a contradiction to talk of peace at Christmas. For many of us Christmas brings conflict rather than peace. There is an emotional tsunami like wave that builds as we approach Christmas Day.

It is a wave of preparation, anticipation and expectation that seems to crest with exasperation. Many wish that it was just over quickly so that life can get back to normal. Some see Christmas as a time when their peace is taken from them rather than given to them. Some see the entire Christmas season as a huge inconvenience that steals their peace.

We in the church use Advent to mark that approach to Christmas. We do not intend that Advent be a part of that emotional tsunami but for many it is looked upon as just another countdown like a NASA missile launch that erupts with an explosive force hurtling us away from the peace we normally enjoy.

The world around us can certainly contribute to our loss of peace during this time.

The world offers a Christmas that is manufactured and designed according to its values and not the values of our bibles. The world tells us that to have peace at Christmas time all we need do is shop and spend and eat and drink. You will not see or hear commercials telling you to make your way to church or to read the Christmas story from the bible. No these things are often passed over by the world and replaced with counterfeit values offering a counterfeit peace.

Jesus said:

John 14:27

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Friends we have right within our grasp the kind of peace we truly need at Christmas. We have the peace that Jesus gives us. What is that peace? It’s the peace between our God and us.

You see before Jesus came into our hearts we were separated from God by our sin. Our sin represented the kind of division between our Heavenly Father and us that could never be resolved until Jesus arrived.

Yes our sin yours and mine is what took true peace out of our relationship with God. So great was that collective sin that no amount of human sacrifice could ever wipe it out. Men and women tried to wipe it out using a religious system of sacrifice but it was not powerful enough to conquer sin.

We would need something better, we would need someone better. We would need a truly holy sacrifice that was free of any and all sin. Jesus was and is that all powerful all holy sacrifice. He alone would restore the peace that was missing in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

For that reason Jesus is called the Prince of Peace.

He tells us that he does not give us Peace the way the world gives peace. Jesus gives freely and entirely. The world has taught us to give conditionally and partially. The world says give only if you get something back and give only a portion not the whole.

Jesus gave himself unconditionally and completely that we might have unconditional and complete peace with our Heavenly Father.

John 14:27

27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus has left it with us. It is not missing or hidden it is right here with us. We may think it has been taken from us from time to time but that is a lie. All we need do is find our peace in Him.

Do you get troubled at Christmas time? Do you get afraid? Maybe it’s the trouble of having to make Christmas something that its not. Maybe you are troubled by the thought of not being able to find the right gift or enough gifts for your loved ones and friends.

Maybe that kind of trouble spills over into a fear of not meeting expectations and resulting in a kind of personal disappointment that says you didn’t do enough to please the ones you love at Christmas. Don’t buy that lie friend. That’s the counterfeit Christmas that the world offers. It’s a lot like the hollow chocolate Santa Claus you got as a child. It looked wonderful and satisfying until you bit into it and discovered it was empty.

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