Christmas could not have come fast enough this year. I think I’m safe saying that we all need a bit of a boost. But I’m not talking about fluffy optimism from a Hallmark movie. That stuff is designed to manipulate warm, fuzzy feelings and has tricked the world into thinking that the love of family and friends is what Christmas is all about. Now before you dismiss this post as my version of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, hold on a minute.
The fact is, fluffy optimism feels good. It DOES produce the warm fuzzies that most of us love. Our yearly traditions are important. Sharing our love with family and friends is vital. But if that’s where our hope for a peaceful world lies, then we’ll be bitterly disappointed. The reality, is that the chaos in our world literally kills the hope that it tries to bring. If 2020 proved anything, it’s that we live in chaos. The peace we need is not in the absence of chaos.
Jesus was born into chaos. Roman occupation, rebellion, a system of taxation so corrupt, that local officials could steal whatever they wanted as long as the minimum amount was sent back to Rome. As as toddler, Jesus was targeted for murder and his family had to flee the country. Herod slaughtered children, looking for Jesus. It wasn’t until Herod’s death, that Jesus’ family could return to their homeland. Does that sound peaceful to you?
So what kind of peace and hope is there, if not the cozy feelings of hot chocolate and a good movie? The peace and hope that Jesus brought with him is the reassurance that in the middle of a world that wreaks havoc on everyone and everything within it, there is a God who desperately loves us. If we choose to follow him, and only Him, we have the promise of life beyond this chaotic world. That is where true peace lies and THAT, is the meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown.
God came to Earth so we could know Him. We have hope because we have a higher purpose. If you call yourself a Christian, your ultimate purpose is to make Christ known in a chaotic world. Why? Because only through the kind of hope that he brings, can we really have peace and freedom, regardless of our chaos. No matter how hard we try, there will never be peace on Earth without Him.
Whatever chaos you’re facing, God came to Earth for you, to give you a hope of something bigger, and the peace that comes with that hope. All you need to do is accept it.