Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. – Psalm 34:14
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. – Galatians 5:22a
My husband has long contended that we are too busy at Christmastime. Too many commitments lead to too much stress and too little rest.
And he’s right.
But I imagine many of you are right there with me when I tell my husband that I don’t know how else to be during the Christmas season. It’s always a time of extra activities; while I can say no to some things, I can’t imagine turning down others.
If I did, who would direct the children’s play at church? Who would shop for gifts, or decorate, or cook special meals and treats at our house?
The thing is, I love doing those things – just not all at once. And while I have learned to streamline many areas of my life, I have a tough time streamlining Christmas. But I could certainly take a simpler approach to all of those activities.
And I know I should.
The angels didn’t tell the shepherds, “Gird your loins, for behold! The Savior of the world has come, and with him will come a plethora of man-made traditions that will bring stress on earth, and bad will among men.”
Of course not! In the angels’ message was God’s wish for humanity to experience peace, and goodwill, through belief in the Savior; and that message of peace in our hearts and lives is woven throughout Scripture.
Obviously, Christians are not meant to be stressed out, especially as we contemplate and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
So, I ask you: how do you maintain a spirit of peace at Christmastime? Have you streamlined your yuletide activities through the years? I welcome your suggestions.