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.
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.