THE COLUMNS – DECEMBER

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Again, Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ – John 20:21

Interestingly, this Bible passage often reminds me of Christmas as much as it reminds me of Easter. I remember what a big deal the incarnation was—bright stars, heavenly hosts of angel choirs singing, shepherds walking away from their flocks to go to the manger, wise men traversing to Bethlehem from far-off exotic places. God the Father was sending his only son, Jesus, to become one of us! He is the most special gift we have ever received…the gift of God Himself in the form of a human being. It was a really big deal!

Sometimes it is really hard to see anything peaceful about Jesus’ days here on earth. He was constantly busy, always on the road; he was perceived as a threat to the establishment—a challenger of the status quo; he was an embarrassment to His family and a nuisance in some people’s eyes. People tried to stone him, run him out of town, and unceasingly looked for opportunities to catch him opposing the Sanhedrin. They accused him of being a drunkard, a keeper of low company, and even claimed that He was demon-possessed when He was healing and performing miracles. His life was full of controversy! He was misunderstood and wrongly convicted, but his death obtained eternal life for us all.

Yet, today I am sitting and reading scripture, totally at peace in his presence. I realize that he may not bring peace to all of my outward circumstances, but he brings the peace of his unfailing love and salvation into the deepest most inward parts of me. I think how awesome it will be when I reach that place of maturity in my faith, that point of sanctification in my life, when all my thoughts and actions are guided from the core of that kind of unconditional love and acceptance.

I have to remind myself, I am sent! Even in the broken, unsanctified corners of my life, Jesus sees something good in me. I hope the world can see him in me! The great gift of his Holy Spirit resides in me and in you. IT’S CHRISTMAS! There’s a better life being born in us over and over again with every progressive step in our becoming his disciples.

Let your light shine! We are to re-present Christ to the world! We are sent to re-gift the love of God to everyone we meet. May His peace be with you as you go.