Written by Megan Burns. Media by Kyle Spriggs.
Calendars are filling fast as plans for Christmas festivities are in the works. The dreaded questions and interactions creep closer and closer. Crazy Uncle Joe will hug a little too long, Aunt Betty will bring a gross fruitcake, and Grandpa Bill will whine about food, politics, and everything else. Granny will ask too many questions, little cousin Jill will pull off the ornaments, and parents will fake smiles until it’s time to go. The holidays can be a stressful, nerve-racking, and downright painful time. Maybe they do not have to be. It is time to bring peace back to the holiday season.
Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Before entering this holiday season, set aside any disagreements. Forgiveness is the first step toward peace. No matter what has happened, holidays are a time to come together in love, not hate.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” This verse is often recited at weddings, but it extends beyond a man and a woman’s relationship. A family should be full of love. Be patient and be kind. Do not be jealous or brag. Do not be easily angered. Forgive and keep no record of past things. This is how to spread love to family this season.
Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.” Being thankful leads to peace. By bringing peace to the holiday madness, a greater appreciation for family and time spent together will arise. Be thankful for the quirks and the gross fruitcake. Be grateful to be with loving people. This gratitude will make the holidays so much more peaceful.
Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Whether it is smiling and nodding as granny tells the same story for the third time, bearing that hug from Uncle Joe, or picking up the ornament Jill threw on the ground, have peace. Be patient and love. Do not anger easily. Strive for peace in all situations. This isn’t always easy, but it could mean serving, listening, or sitting in silence. Pray and ask God how to bring peace to the holidays this year.
Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Ready or not, the holidays are here. Instead of stressing over food or drama, be thankful for the blessings given by God. Make the effort to bring peace into the holidays. It takes one person to make a difference. Even when the fights are inevitable, know that the Lord gives strength, and He will help to bring peace.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
-Jill Jackson and Sy Miller