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Everyone wants peace. However, we are often very confused about what peace really looks like. Some desire the peace of a quiet resort in the mountains, and others set their sights on the more ambitious desire of world peace. My personal favorite expression of this desire for peace is the NBA basketball player Ron Artest. In an effort to show his support for world peace, he had his name legally changed to Meta World Peace.
Nowhere is there more emphasis on peace than at Christmas time. Just take John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas:” “War is over, if you want it.” We all want to live in a world without war and without conflict. The beauty of Christmas is that it reminds us that peace is coming, that Christ came to bring pece and He will come again to bring final peace. Even as we look ahead to the final day of peace at Christ’s return, we have peace in the present with one another. The Holy Spirit unites us with our fellow believers.
Unfortunately, the sad reality for many of us is that Christmas is anything but a time of peace. Traveling to visit relatives brings more stress and frustration than peace. We are reminded of the lack of the lack of unity we have with those around us with whom we should have the most unity. This Christmas, as you face these conflicts, remember that you are united to other believers in the Holy Spirit. As you spend time with believing relatives, do so remembering that you now share a bond with them that is more important than the natural family relationship. As you spend time with unbelieving relatives, do so remembering that you have a new spiritual family. May this Christmas season be a reminder of the peace you have with God and with your heavenly family.
Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-6
Sermon: Unity of the Spirit: A Christmas Miracle