Merry Christmas!

Prince of Peace

Written by David E. Smith

Christmas is just two days away. Parking spaces at malls and big-box stores are at a premium and many of the most popular toys and electronic gadgets are in short supply. While some last minute shoppers will dodge raindrops (no snowflakes this year) in their search for the final presents on their lists, others will click away at the computer, placing online orders and crossing their fingers that priority shipping will deliver their packages on time.

Hustle, bustle, hurry, scurry, busy, tired, and stressed are the key words of the season. A few eleventh hour tasks are unavoidable, but advance preparation could have eliminated the frantic, frenzied race to the finish for the majority of these harried holiday procrastinators.

In a world where Thanksgiving is merely a speed bump on the road to Black Friday and the Inn of Commercialized Christmas displays a permanent No Vacancy sign, Advent – a season of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ incarnation in his First Advent and a reminder to hold fast to the promise of His return with the Second Advent – has been reduced from a noun that denotes anticipation, expectation, longing, and hope to an adjective associated with countdown calendars filled with chocolates. For those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, it should not and does not have to be that way.

I hope your days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day have been filled with opportunities for rich worship and contemplation of the enormity of what Jesus Christ’s first coming means to you in this life and what His second coming will mean for you in eternity.  Such reflection may be aided by thoughtful reading of Scriptures and devotionals that speak of the Lord’s Advent, joyful singing of carols and hymns that tell of the hope that we have in Emmanuel, God with us, as well as prayers of gratitude and praise that in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son.

Unlike temporal preparations for the celebration of secular Christmas, these spiritual matters are of supreme importance. They cannot be put off until the “last minute,” for one day time will run out and it will be too late. Our hearts must be prepared to receive Jesus, God’s Perfect Gift and the Author of Eternal Salvation, the only One who can save us from our sin. And our hearts must also be ready to meet Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, when He returns to execute judgement, redeem His creation, and bring everlasting peace between us and our Creator.

That is why we rightly call Him, Prince of Peace.

May God bless you as celebrate with great joy the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and anticipate with eagerness and excitement His certain return.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and God’s richest blessings in the year to come!