"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests'." -Luke 2:13-14
This is Luke's account of the angels visit to the shepherds on the evening of Christ's birth. Can you imagine being a shepherd and watching the night sky light up with majestic heavenly beings all praising God? Wow, that would have been something to experience, an experience that would stick with a person the rest of his life.
The phrase that sticks out to me the most is "on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests". Peace on earth. This is a promise given to us with the birth of Christ. Not a promise just for the shepherds or the wise men. It's a promise for all of us who claim Christ as our Lord and Savior.
What I've been contemplating lately is how to experience that peace. This season has been one of unexpected peace for me. Unexpected because circumstances are not what I planned, but nonetheless, I am so content. I talked about this in my last post. God has really opened my eyes to the seemingly small wonders all around me. When I add them up, they're not so small at all.
Throughout the holiday season, it's so easy to get bogged down with everything there is to do. Office parties, presents to buy, presents to wrap, cookies to bake, special programs to attend, family dinners to enjoy, and on and on it goes. Tell me, how are we supposed to find peace on earth in the midst of all of that?
Today, I offer you one of my favorite ways to recharge, reflect, and spend some much-needed time thanking God for His blessings and provision. If you live north of me (most of you do), please don't hate me for what I'm about to say. You too, can try this technique. You're just going to have to get a little creative.
One of my favorite ways to practice "peace on earth" is by taking a nightly walk around my neighborhood. Especially during this time of year because many of the houses are decked out in their finest Christmas costumes (aka. sparkly lights and more!). I bring my headphones and tune into an all-Christmas internet radio channel and simply enjoy the walk. I can practically feel the stress fall off with each step that I take.
Now, if you do live north of Florida, I realize that winter is typically cold for you. But, what if you bundled up in your coziest outdoor attire and took a ten minute walk outside to enjoy the lights? People play in snow all the time, so don't tell me it can't be done. Even ten minutes of practicing peace on earth can make all the difference in the world.
By the way, we just got the forecast for Christmas Day here in my area of Florida; it's supposed to be a high of 80. Guess where you'll find me on Christmas night after all the gifts have been opened and the festivities have ended? Feel free to join me as I pound the pavement practicing some more peace on earth!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!