By Tim O’Hare
As I reflect on 2017, I remember the chaos and turmoil of this past year. From an upheaval of the political landscape, riots among our own people, mass murders, natural disasters of an unprecedented nature — 2017 has certainly been one for the books.
There is a great deal of disagreement in our nation today, but no matter what side of the aisle you find yourself on, I think we can all agree that this holiday season, we would all love to see peace in our world, our country and our own lives. And this is why Christmas is so meaningful. During this season, we are reminded that Jesus came to give us just what we have all been longing for — peace.
In fact, it is little baby Jesus, born a humble birth 2,000 years ago, who is the only One who can give us real peace. The book of Isaiah foretold His coming and the names He would be given:
“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 Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Our world is full of chaos, hurt and unrest. It is the direct result of the sin and brokenness that separates us from our Creator. But by God’s grace, on that first Christmas so long ago, the Prince of Peace entered our world to rescue and redeem us, restoring our relationship to the Father. It’s important to remember that Jesus never promised us a life without trouble on this side of heaven. There will be heartache. Pain. Injustice. Grief. But through Christ, we can have peace. We can know peace. And we can have the gift of eternal life.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
If you are searching for peace this Christmas season, look no further than the free gift of grace and hope given to us through the birth and resurrection of Christ. Redemption, salvation and PEACE only come through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a gift, and all you have to do is receive it. There’s nothing you can do to earn it.
That’s the thing about gifts. By definition, a gift is something you cannot give yourself. It is given willingly, without payment. Jesus is the perfect gift. This Christmas, will you receive the greatest Gift ever given to mankind?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Whether 2017 has been a year filled with great joy for you, or a year of unspeakable grief and pain, I pray you find rest and peace through the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate this Christmas.
From the O’Hare Family to yours, Merry Christmas!