I’ve always wondered why peace is a theme for Christmastime. With all the chaos of family and festivities, Christmas can often feel overwhelming, not so peaceful. Even the Christmas story itself isn’t peaceful. There is nothing serene about childbirth. And when I reflect on the events of Mary and Joseph’s birthing plan, I become filled with nothing but pure anxiety.
Mary is 14—a young woman, a girl frankly, navigating her way into womanhood. She is not yet even married when she’s told by the angel, Gabriel that she’s going to have a baby and that he will be the Savior of his people.
Can you imagine? Mary is still a virgin, yet pregnant with God's child! I highly doubt that Mary immediately and with complete peace, assumed her new calling. She had to be terrified…at least at first! And because of a government decree, she and Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem alone to register in Joseph’s hometown just before she was due to give birth. That meant no familiar faces with fluffed pillows and lavender sachets for Mary at the onset of contractions. They didn’t even have a place to stay, except an animal manger.
So where is this Christmas calm, and heavenly peace we sing about? Sorry friends, but this heavenly peace is nowhere near the manger. It’s actually found 30-some years down the road in an empty tomb. The peace Jesus brings, stems from his death as our Savior—our Savior who, overcame all of the anxiety, stress, and tribulations of this world. So when you are seeking peace this season, reflect on the reason for Jesus’s birth, the gift of eternal peace with our Heavenly Father.