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The Emotions of Christmas: Peace

The Emotions of Christmas

Hope | Peace | Love | Joy

Let us start in prayer.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

Good morning, everyone, how are we this morning?

I would like to start off with a game, this morning, do I have any volunteers?

(Plays the cup game: Please see video on St Marks Youtube channel)

Thank you to our volunteers, give them a round of applause, you did a great job.

Now, we always wish and hope that every year we will be more organised for Christmas, we will have our presents done, our Christmas tree up at a certain time etc. How are our stress levels so far, as we are coming into Christmas? Let’s do our thumb-o-meter.

Well, let me cause a little stress into your lives for a moment.

Christmas Movies, do you have one sorted? Will the kids and the adults enjoy it? Will you go something classic or something new? Do you have a traditional movie that you watch? Do you know? Which one will you pick?

What about your Christmas Tree? Is it decorated yet? How will you decorate it? Will it be simple, or be colour coded, how many colours? Will it be themed? Will you let the kids decorate it? What will you do? How will you do it?

What about your shopping list? Do you have them organised yet? What foods you will serve or not serve? Do you have all your presents accounted for, for each family member? How much will you spend? What do you want for Christmas? Have you done your wish list?

And then there is the actual shopping aspect, will you face the crowds, or will you shop online? Will you be willing to fight for that present if someone else gets it off the shelf before you? Are you willing to face the rush of Christmas?

And then there is presents, when will you wrap them, where will you hide them? Will they be wrapped in themed wrapping paper, or will you go colourful, or simple? Have you accounted for everyone, even your in-laws?

There is too much to think about when it comes to Christmas and no wonder people feel Stressed or about to scream. I think I need to take a breather. How do you all feel about Christmas now? I’m sure I have caused a bit of stress or have made you think of something you haven’t done yet. But Christmas is also about the time we get to spend with our family and friends, to spend quality time together and feel loved and valued by those around us. However, what is the true meaning of Christmas?

Jesus, the classic Sunday school answer. It’s all about Jesus and what he has done for us, for you and me. Though, it didn’t just start at His birth, it started thousands of years ago, and one particular verse which we have been looking at during this season, Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. - Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

In Isaiah the prophet urges his readers to trust in God and His ways. The vision he presents is that God will act and bring about restoration and peace in an unexpected way, through a child (Isaiah 9:2-7), but not born into a great or royal family like they thought.

Jesus would bring all these things to us, but in particular PEACE. Us, as humans, who have sinned over and over again, he was still willing to save us and give us peace. But, how would God do all of this stated in the Isaiah verse, how would he fulfil it once Jesus was born?

Well, in Luke 2: 13-14 when the angel appears to the Shepherds, telling them about the Birth of Christ, the Messiah, and what He will bring to the earth, PEACE. In the birth of Christ, we see God continuing to act, restore, and heal in unexpected ways. The first recipients of this message were shepherds: some of the most lowly of people in that day. This immediately demonstrates that the Messiah of peace has indeed come for all people, not just for the righteous, the self-proclaimed important or a select few! But for all.

In Isaiah it says Prince of Peace, and peace there will be no end. Which is then reflected in the Luke verse. The angel said to the shepherds, “Greatness and honor to our God in the highest heaven and peace on earth among men who please Him.” We can now have that peace here on earth, it isn’t just a theory or something floating up in the air but something tangible that we can feel and experience every day. We will all have trials and tribulations in our lives, or Christmas shopping and trees to decorate, but Jesus who died and rose again understands this, the madness and stress that occurs in our lives but He has been brought us PEACE, so that we can live a life to the fullest.

So, when you are doing your Christmas shopping, writing your lists, putting up the Christmas Tree, take a moment, to stop and think about the Peace we can find in Christ Jesus who came down from Heaven to save us all through His birth, death, and resurrection, so that we can have Peace on Earth.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Amen

Aimee Johnson, St Marks Dalby Youth Ministry Coordinator

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