A few weeks ago, I shared my heart about how this common Christmas Carol really challenged me. At the end of my blog I challenged each of you, to look, listen and act. How is that going?
Last weekend, my family and I were on our way to do a Christmas light walk at the local park. On our walk to the park a young couple joined us on the path, a few paces ahead of my family. When we made it to the park, they struck up a conversation with us. (Aha! What an easy in.) They asked about my sons, Ergo baby carrier and so we started encouraging them as they are going to be first time parents! So exciting! They were Indian (or near that region). Usually this would deter me. I would think, “well maybe they are Hindu, or Muslim and it could be awkward.” But since I’ve been challenging myself to go after souls, these “lies” don’t plague me like they use to, so I went for it!
As the conversation allowed, I asked them if I could pray over their baby and the coming labour and delivery. Do you know what they said? ” Oh, wow! Yes! What do I do?” I laughed and said “nothing, I’m just going to bless you”. So I simply prayed for these beautiful parents and blessed them. I know they could feel the love and peace of God as I prayed. Afterwards they were really appreciative as was evident by their words and expressions on their faces, they were glowing.
I wanted to share the gospel with them, but they had to go. I don’t discount our exchange, but celebrate in the fact that these two will never forget the love they felt as I poured out the Father’s heart for them and their baby. God calls us to sow seeds…so let us sow them as recklessly as the farmer in Matthew 13.
What does that have to do with O Holy Night? Everything.
“Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease!”
God’s gospel is peace. It releases anxieties of the soul and brings a calm to the heart that only God can bring. The world is looking and waiting for someone to share the Gospel of Peace with them. They are desperate for the peace that we have. While I understand that the “slave’ in the line is most likely talking about a literal slave, I think this goes beyond that.
Jesus didn’t die an ugly death for us to struggle to get by. Every time I hear those words,(struggling to get by) something in me wants to cry out “Nooo! It doesn’t have to be that way!” Am I saying the Christian walk is always easy? Ha. No. But we have the Prince of Peace; We have the One who wants to manifest Himself as the answer, to break the chains, the cycles, the despair or hopeless situation. He lives IN US. Emmanuel, God WITH US. Let that sink in. God is WITH US. Every day. Every hour. Every second. He’s totally committed to us. And…He not only loves us, but He actually LIKES US.
When I look at the lyrics above, these are the verses that come to mind. I hope they encourage you the same way they encourage me. God’s Word is life and brings life.
John 14:27 ” I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 ” Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you HIS peace at all times and in every situation…”
Isaiah 9:6 “…Prince of Peace”
John 8:32 “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!”
Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Psalm 16:11 ” In your presence is fullness of Joy.”
This Christmas season I encourage you to sit with the Lord, ask Him how He feels about you. 🙂 The best way to capture His answer is through journaling. Allow His love and tenderness to seep into your heart, bring you peace, set you free and lavish His joy on you.
Have any stories of how you’ve Looked, Listened and Acted? I’d love to hear!
Feel free to check out Soaring Higher’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/caitotwell 🙂