By Cheryl Scanlan

One of my favorite hymns growing up in the Catholic Church was “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”  The second line in the first stanza challenged the worshiper – “and let it begin with me.”

What is peace?  I mean true peace?

David Wilkerson highlights a sobering thought in one of his online devotionals:

The demonic lie blanketing America today is a false peace. It is the idea that we can do whatever we please with no fear of consequences.

Our eyes might glaze over and we might ask – “Who me?  Couldn’t be!”  As believers, we know we can have true peace, yet do we wind up trading it for the world’s peace so we can get what we want?

David’s insights later in the devotional cause me to pause:

Paul warns, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables [lies]” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Who are these deceived masses Paul is talking about? They are deceived Christians! He wrote this letter to the Thessalonian church—addressing born-again believers! These people had sat under biblical teaching and had known God’s truth, yet they held on to their lusts and sought out heresies that would comfort them in their sins.

But then, there is Christmas – a time when peace can be restored in our hearts once again!

Christmas – A time to remember Our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty King, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father.  Immanuel has come.

The dilution of Christmas in our consumerist culture feeds the ‘wants’. But it does not have to water down our faith that feeds our soul.  The shepherds had the angel. The magi had the star.  What do we have?  We have His truth, the gospel, salvaged through over 2000 years of beatings, trials, denouncements, burnings, attempts at obliteration, and rewrites of history.

It’s cold out there.  The world is brutal.  The enemy is fierce.  Traitors abound.  The lies are ready to deceive so we can have as the world has.

And yet His truth still stands and can be known to anyone seeking.  And those that seek… Oh! What they will find as they near the creche! The baby beckons us back to the peace of God that comes from a right relationship with our Creator.

May I pray?

Lord, Give us a desire to adore You over all the shiny, pretty, tantalizing, twinkling and glitzy things of this season.  Help us to not fall into the trap of surface admiration, Lord, implying a certain distance from You, but instead give us a heart for true knee-bowing, heart-rending adoration like the Shepherds and the Magi.

Let peace begin with us.