merry christmas!

The days leading up to Advent, I have been singing, humming—

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

There is so much hope that I am realizing and learning and reflecting on it feels like for the first time that Christmas brings. And so much peace. How did I miss this before in the wait of Advent?

isaiah 7

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

isaiah 9

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

The Prince of Peace, peace. How much I have been wanting and waiting for that peace it feels like this whole month as I’ve been withering, uncertain, tired, tired. Feeling overall just not like myself, like the chemotherapy is not just simply destroying bodily cells, but personality cells, my very self/cell. Where have I gone?

And yet, as I’ve been singing, waiting for His coming this month, He’s illuminating to my heart that He already has come and is with me! The cry of Israel, of all people, has been satisfied for Immanuel has come and He is still with me! He has promised to be. And with that, He has brought His peace that comes with his prescense. He, His Peace, are the Ultimate Present this holiday. I am realizing that I have somehow hidden from myself deep in the closet of my heart, forgetting the gift in the back as we do this time of year.

And all from a baby—a baby is the one who had these titles of Mighty God, Wonderful Counselor. How strange and yet wonderful it all must have seemed as Mary held Him close to whisper these titles like lullabies in his ear. And yet that Baby is the source of my peace, of my joy.

The Advent this year is more realer and more clearer and more fully realized to me than years past. And not to say that I didn’t ever reflect on Christmas and its true meaning, but this year the gifts of peace between me and God, of peace within my own heart that were delievered to us that night are more tangibly felt, experienced, and understood this Christmas within the deeper parts of my soul. This is the Greatest Gift. All others we receive on this day are a mere and dim reflection of the Greatest Gift of Grace, gifts in shiny wrapping paper are our stars for us, shining and leading us toward his manger once more.

Lay by his manger and rest.
Lay by his manger and receive grace.
Lay by his manger and see peace.

He is our peace.

Merry Christmas!


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