Welcome to the second week of Advent! By this point in December, I’m going to guess that everyone feels like they’re drowning in their to-do lists. Holiday concerts, parties for the kids, shopping, wrapping, prepping for guests, work responsibilities, etc. How are we supposed to dwell on the idea of “Peace on Earth and goodwill to men” if we feel like we can barely breath at this point of the season?
I think the idea of peace during advent comes at the most perfect time. Amidst all the chaos of what the holiday season comes with, this week is a wonderful reminder to slow down and breathe in the peace that can only come from the Lord.
If you’ve been in church for a while, you probably know that the Hebrew word for peace is Shalom. BUT, did you know that Shalom has an even deeper meaning? It means wholeness, or the idea of well-being. Wow.
We can all recite dozens of scripture with the word peace in it, and we have the gift of leaning into them when we’re overwhelmed, anxious, or fearful. But I want to see how those scriptures grow and change when we substitute the idea of wholeness.
Psalm 29:11: "The Lord gives strength to his people, and the Lord blesses his people with WHOLENESS."
Romans 16:20: "The God of WHOLENESS will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you."
Corinthians 14:33: "For God is not a God of disorder but of WHOLENESS—as in the congregations of the Lord's people."
1 Peter 3:11: "They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek WHOLENESS and pursue it."
John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have WHOLENESS. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 53:5: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us WHOLENESS was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The textbook definition of wholeness says “the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity.”
What does it look like to be whole? What does it look like to approach Christmas with a sense of wholeness rather than chaos?
The one and only way that can be achieved is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, because of His sacrifice on the cross. Seeking something so much bigger than ourselves or anything that the world can offer us.
At this time of year, it can be SO easy to chase anything that gives us a semblance of peace. BUT, Rather than a feeling, wholeness (peace) is a state of being.
So this holiday season, while we’re drowning in all that we have to DO, can we just stop and remember what God has called us to BE? His hope for us, his heart for us, is to be in a state of wholeness with HIM. Not a state of wholeness with our Christmas shopping, or our kids' Christmas play, or our beautiful decorations. But with Jesus.
As we’re seeking moments of Peace this year, let us go further than a feeling. Let us seek the Lord to be whole in Him.
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