LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY: Trust in the Prince of Peace this Christmas

Trust in the Prince of Peace this Christmas

By Dr Rachel Bradley, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family

Happy New Year! The Church starts her new liturgical year in Advent, and we plunge into one of the busiest times of the year, often filled with stress and overwhelm.

There’s the end of year school events, kids finishing up their exams, and work parties. All the preparations for the Christmas celebration must be thought of and sometimes we end up on the other side of Christmas Day feeling shell shocked and wondering how we let another year go by without really managing to focus on Him at all.

On that first Christmas night, the angels sang to the shepherds ‘Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to people of good will’.

This is a peace that the world cannot give, a peace that we can only find in Him, a peace that our hearts long for.

If we look to keep ourselves in peace by trying to control our environment, being super organised with cooking and present buying, or piling stress upon ourselves to try and fit everything in, we will fail to work our way to a place of peace.

The Lord tells us through Isaiah (26:3) ‘You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.’

If we start with Him, spending time with Him in prayer, meditating on His story we can work from a place of peace. He himself is peace.

There are numerous ways we can do this in our families. Maybe we could have a Jesse tree during Advent, set up a nativity scene at home or work.

We could sign up for an online advent retreat or commit to reading a few lines of the Gospel and praying through it every morning.

Mary and Joseph certainly wouldn’t have been filled with peace that first Christmas had they relied on external circumstances.

After a long journey, with Mary heavily pregnant, no room for them at the inn, having to give birth in an animal shelter, no family around to help them, they could have been forgiven for feeling a little bit overwhelmed!

But they were filled with trust in God, who alone has everything under control and can bring great good out of even the least promising situations.

In their peaceful trust, they were able to receive that great gift of God’s incarnate son, Jesus. We too are offered that gift this Christmas.

May we, like them, put our trust in God no matter what our external circumstances and receive His son, the Prince of Peace with great joy.

Tags: Life Family Marriage