The peace that passes all understanding!


I don’t know about you but I get super excited when we hit November. I love the fall and everything about it. I love the weather, my clothes, my birthday, our anniversary, and the changing of the leaves. The tree in our front yard is practically famous. But soon the joy of fall fades when that “Season” is upon us!

It’s almost as if you can hear a starter’s gun go off and everything moves from its normal busy to a pace I can only call “out of control!”

First is Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and finally New Year. We think we must plan, invite, shop, clean, prepare, decorate, entertain and host each event to perfection. I do need to add the additional stress of more than one thanksgiving or Christmas depending on your family dynamic. We also need to keep in mind the fantastic programs, parades, and other holiday events we are able to partake in. I am super excited to report our family has a wedding and graduation during this season. Not to mention the regular events that your life holds.

I’m afraid that I might be missing what I really need for Christmas this year. A moment to enjoy all that we have. I must admit I am a very blessed person. There are disappointments, grief, and difficulties in my life too; but I am really blessed to do what I do and with the people who are in my life.

When I look at advent and the preparation for the coming of Jesus, I wonder if all my preparations for everything else are not keeping me away from the joy that Jesus brought that beautiful silent night. And if it’s not keeping it away I believe it is at the very least diminishing it.

Advent has us look to the hope, peace, joy and love that Christ brings as we wait to light the Christ Candle on Christmas day. This is the week we look to the candle of peace. That first Christmas, when God sent his son, who is called wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. The angels cried, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on Earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”

Emmanuel! God with us!

Jesus brought peace, in an unexpected way. The Jews wanted their Savior to overturn the Roman government and bring about peace as they expected in a violent way. But that is not what Jesus had in mind.

Jesus brought us peace: His peace.

Jesus gives us inner peace, because of his work on the cross, we receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit. This grants us inner peace. We also have peace of mind, knowing God will heal this broken world when He comes again.

Jesus also gives us peace with others. We are to put aside our differences. We as Christians are called with a purpose, to let others know about the peace of Christ.

The Hebrew word for peace: Shalom, goes far beyond not fighting with others or peace as we know it. Shalom is, in essence, how things are meant to be: As in Heaven!

I pray that we take the time to count all our blessings and be a blessing to others. May this Christmas cause us to remember that because of Jesus we can experience a season free from turmoil and chaos. Regardless of our circumstances or situation. Christ offers us: The peace that passes all understanding.

By the Rev. Eileen Hix

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the associate pastor at Sidney First United Methodist Church in Sidney.

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