“What do you want for Christmas?”
Two front teeth? Check…. (I’m quite thankful for that, by the way).
A white Christmas? Stunning, but likely a commuter’s nightmare.
A hippopotamus? The thought of housetraining Mr. Hefty leads to me to perhaps my answer: a long winter’s nap sounds divine.
Who isn’t run ragged by the end of the year? Those chilly days only amplify my longing for the most geriatric-looking fuzzy pajamas and a slow, demand-free evening by the fire. However, since I pulled my turkey-stuffed self off the couch in late-November, I’ve been battling a seemingly endless stream of pitiful baby snot and the accompanying parental sleeplessness, along with the holidays’ amped up social expectations and their prep, sprinkles, and sugar crashes.
Then something ripped me out of my sugar-cookie-coma: Aleppo. Gatlinburg fires. Untimely deaths of preteens falling into frozen ponds. Rioting. Children with cancer. Political smugness. Gang violence. Terrorism. Animal cruelty. Disastrous storms. Hunger. Poverty. Real poverty.
And I want desperately to crawl back into my pretty powdered-sugarplum-fairy-shell…
I actually prefer to be distracted by the season’s temporary merriness and culturally permissible materialism. Then it comes to me–like the ringing of the bells–and I know what I truly want for Christmas.
Peace on Earth.
As quickly as I’m elated with my answer, my hope is shot down like dinner’s duck. How in the world….? Peace on earth?
I’m just me… a gal in small-town Kentucky… a gal who is prone to worry, but committed to becoming more intentional about prayer (Philippians 4:6). Worry, plans, and even the most pure actions are not prayer. Prayer is our greatest resource—it’s the direct line of communication to our most powerful, intelligent, and able leader (Matthew 21:22).
There is very little the majority of us can actually do for those devastated in Aleppo. We can’t quickly silence the loud mockery of hate between bickering political groups, countries, races, and religions. Yes, we can pressure our leaders to form more efficient and protective policies. Yes, we can donate to proven and appropriate charities. Even still, there will still be disease, death, and destruction because man can’t fix these problems (James 4:2-3). We cling to our Savior’s sovereignty, mercy, and justice. We are helpless but for our prayers.
Peace on Earth will come closer to fruition when we bring a little bit of Heaven down to our level. And thankfully, Heaven’s Darling was willing to do just that for us. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came and changed the world despite beginnings much more humble than my Kentucky roots. His birth in a barn and successive ministry changed the world forever.
I’m so thankful this Christmas season for those humble beginnings in Bethlehem (Luke 2:11). Never be intimidated by your own modest circumstances. By emulating and following Christ, His faithful devotion to prayer, and willingness to serve and sacrifice, we will surely begin to see Peace on Earth and goodwill to men.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
- Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (HCSB)
- And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22 (NASB)
- You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2-3 (NASB)
- Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)