Peace. Brought to you by Jesus.

Early this morning I got up with son Rohan.  As we sat and played, my heart ached to be with Jesus and was moved for my family…for my Manginelli and Irvin family.  As Rohan played, I worshipped and read the Bible and just sat with Jesus.  He reminded me of a few things…most specifically of peace, so I emailed my family.  After I sent the email I knew I also just wanted to share my thoughts in my blog.  Because while we are a few days from celebrating the birth of the King of Peace…peace is the very thing evading most of us.

In the wake of the Connecticut shooting, I think many of us are looking at the normal Christmas pace and seeing how pale it is in comparison to what really matters.  Here we are buying gifts, planning parties, stressing our calendars, worrying financially and like usual missing Jesus at a point he just wants to reveal himself to us.  As much as we grieve the horror of the elementary school shooting, I imagine for most of us it is yet again putting life into perspective.  It’s the cruel helper asking the question, “Are you living for things that really matter?  Life can be gone in a moment, are you living it how you need to?”

It also brings fear.  If the things that mean the most to us could be taken so easily and without reason?  What in life is safe?  What can we know will resist the darkness of this world?  Can anything be trusted?

And alas…we have only one answer.  Jesus.  In the middle of a world where free will is so beautiful and yet so possibly evil there is only one thing that never changes.  There is only one thing that can’t be shaken.  There is only one thing that lasts.  There is only one thing that worthy of eternal hope.  His name is Jesus.  And in this season he has gifts for us, not like Santa who brings things to satisfy the external and material, but gifts that are eternal and never end.  He wants to bring us peace.  He wants to bring us joy.  He wants to bring us Himself.

So my encouragement to you today…stop playing the Christmas game and fall more in love with Jesus.  Stop worrying about gifts and money and be a great Dad today.  Be a present Mom in everything you do.  Actually take a moment to celebrate the profound love of God which was found in an impoverished baby in Bethlehem.  Reconcile relationships, work out forgiveness, let go of bitterness and love your neighbor.

Know you are loved.  Here was my letter to my family.

 

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This morning I got up early with Ro.  While he played with blocks, ate some waffles and in general just did his thing I stole some time to worship and be with Jesus.  As I spent time with Him, my heart was simply drawn to prayer for my family.  And as I just began to pray and sit in the presence of God two things happened…my heart ached for peace for us, and peace overwhelmed me.  Today as I sat with Jesus he reminded me that He is the King of Peace.  And this isn’t just a title, isn’t just a cosmic affirmation of his divinity…but the truth that we serve a present, loving, compassionate God who walks out every day with us.

He’s the Jesus who makes my coffee with me.
The Jesus who plays trains with my Son with me.
The Jesus who laughs at all of the things I say in my mind that never make it to my mouth.
The Jesus who has cried all weekend with me over Connecticut.
The Jesus who doesn’t mock my fears.
The Jesus who knows I’m stronger than I think I am.
The Jesus who loves my neighbors and is begging my heart to pay attention.
The Jesus who asking me to slow down and be with Him.
The Jesus who loved me so much he died my death.
The Jesus who loved me even more and gave me His life.
And the Jesus who has peace.  Real peace.  Right now…for those who want it.
I was reminded of the promise of Jesus who said, “Come all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  Take my way of life upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Today I’m praying that as a family, we dont’ miss what Jesus has for us.  Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.  That at every moment we can take every ounce of anxiety, concern, pain, frustration and lay it at the cross and receive its gifts.  The cross is not a static moment in history, but an alive reality that I can access when I come to it.  It always requires the letting go of self, but what it gives in return is always worth it…because it gives true life.  When I think about my family, from the Manginelli to the Irvin side, I know that there are things weighing underneath the surface of every one of our lives.  Stuff…lot’s of it.  I pray over you the thing I pray me…that I would have the courage to let go and let Jesus have everything.
I was drawn to Isaiah this morning and read in the 53rd chapter.  As the chapter tells us 600ish years before Jesus came of His death and what he would do for us, I was drawn to one part.
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions and he was bruised for our iniquities.
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.
All like sheep we have gone astray and everyone of us have turned to our own ways;
but the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
The plan for peace has always been Jesus.  It is Jesus and will always be Jesus.  When Isaiah and Jeremiah saw their homeland destroyed and their children murdered the hope was Jesus.  When Joseph and Mary lived in exile to an evil empire and witness their own king murder a generation of children the hope was Jesus.  And we, when madman murder our children still only have one hope…Jesus.  He bought it for us. We just have to go get it.
I love you.  I miss you Manginelli family.  I am grateful to have you Irvin family.  May all of us know that today that we are Sons and Daughters of the King of Peace.
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3 thoughts on “Peace. Brought to you by Jesus.

  1. Steph says:

    so wise. thank you friend for these words. How easy it is to forget in our day to day that God is omniscient…needed this reminder that in every thought, unspoken word and every tear that He is present.

  2. “…stop playing the Christmas game and fall more in love with Jesus.”
    Great word. Many great words here, but that one is definitely potent. Miss you and love you Phil!

  3. Leslie Lillibridge says:

    Thank you Phil for sharing your heart and reminding us of many things. Love you!

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