“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27a) Peace. Blessed peace. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve had a hectic couple of weeks: prepping and cooking for family gatherings, shopping the “big deals”, decorations coming out and going up. Have you even been able to catch a breath? The truth is we bring all this on ourselves. That’s right. We stress about whether the house is clean enough. Then we stress if we have all the right foods and if there’ll be enough to go around, finding later we have leftovers for days. Then we pressure ourselves into thinking Christmas will be a disaster if our third cousin twice removed doesn’t get that perfect shirt that was only $17.50 instead of $37. After that, we’re climbing, bending, stooping, and crawling to put up every single perfect decoration that we’ll then have to clean around for more than a month. And all this before we lose hours of sleep wrapping and trimming perfectly every single gift and placing it ever so delicately into a Jenga-style arrangement beneath the tree. Whew! It’s little wonder that the suicide rate is so much higher around this time of year.
December 6, 2023