As we place things in perspective we are truly grateful for the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us. Most of us have experienced the reality that one day's news is capable of bringing us such calamity that it changes our lives forever. Therefore, every day that passes without a tragedy is a day for which to give thanks.
He has blessed us with parents, with children and grandchildren, with good jobs, prosperity, good health and so much more. Many times I question, "Why?" as I contemplate how undeserving I am. And always, we want more.
We are so human. How even more off the mark would our priorities be did we not have small reminders to break through our busyness, reminders that cause us to be ashamed at our token commitment to him and cause us to ask for forgiveness as we turn our attention away from ourselves for the fleeting time we commit to prayer or to care for the needs of another.
It has been a "fat" society, and we are a "fat" people -- materially and spiritually. We have become bereft of such ideals as sacrifice, honor, truth, integrity, valor, honesty and courage. The words themselves are rarely used, much less acted upon. Even the very word "values" has taken on new and twisted meanings which have come to include ideas that are the very antithesis of the word.
Our morality is as overvalued as our stock market.
And yet the star of Christmas shines brightest in the midst of darkness. It always has! Two thousand years ago, God became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ. And through that one incredible event we know that because He lived in the flesh that He understands us so very well - and loves us anyway.
Inner peace! How pleasant the thought, but how elusive its reality. That need not be the case.
A little over 2,000 years ago mankind was sent a peace treaty. Announced by a heavenly host, it was delivered to an obscure Middle East village to be initially reviewed by lowly shepherds and high-born kings. The treaty was offered because a just and holy God loved His creation.
The sole provision of the treaty was Jesus Christ. It applied to whosoever would believe on Him. Some 33 years later the treaty was signed, and three days later ratified. It has been in effect ever since, and the peace it promises is available to every one of us.
For Jesus said: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." (John 14:27)
May peace of Jesus Christ be yours through this brand new year.