Are you ready for Christmas? All over the country, families and individuals will be wrapping presents, decorating trees and cooking food – a huge amount of work for just one day in the year. Sadly, more families break up around the time of “peace and goodwill” than at any other time of year. And for many others, Christmas fails to meet our high expectations.
The first Christmas was a non-event for most of the population. A government census sent the expectant parents Mary and Joseph travelling many miles to an overcrowded town where they delivered their baby in a stable. Almost everyone else was too busy to notice. The prophets had told them Jesus was coming, but the people were looking for a new king, not a tiny baby.
Do we make the same mistake in our time? The prophet Isaiah gave Jesus these names: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. We want to experience the peace, but ignore the advice, refuse to recognise God’s authority and reject his parental love. Why then should we be surprised at our lack of peace?
This year, put Jesus in his proper place at the centre, and experience the real peace of Christmas.