Merry Christmas!

This is excerpt from one of my Greetings From Kyiv newsletters.  If you would like you receive my newsletters, check out the right hand sidebar of this blog and click under “Greetings From Kyiv.”

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How is your Christmas season going so far?  Food?  Lights?  Trees?  In the region where I live, it’s been four days since they started decorating the Christmas tree and they aren’t finished yet.  I’m on my second day and hoping to get it trimmed this evening, but that’s not looking likely to happen.  Life is always different in Ukraine.  There isn’t so much celebrating on the 25th here.  The holidays, as we know it in the states, is celebrated on New Year’s.

To me, it doesn’t matter when or even how we celebrate Christmas.  What matters is that we remember the reason we are celebrating and why.

In Luke 1:79, it was prophesied that Jesus came “To give light to those who sit in the darkness and the shadow of death.  To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

I don’t know how you feel, but when I read the news and see what is happening around us in the world today, I think that this world is badly in the need of peace.  Heck, I don’t even need to read the news, I’m LIVING in the news!  When you ask your friend if they are free to meet next month and they say, “If I’m not drafted into the war,” you know that you are living in unimaginable times.

But this world has always been full of unimaginable times.  It’s hard to imagine a tiny baby being born amidst animals in a lowly stable as being someone who could bring peace to the world.  How could an innocent little child who needs constant care make a difference in the world and in our lives?

That’s kind of how it is sometimes when we first take a look at Christ.  How can he make a difference?  This world is so messed up how could anything change?  But it can and does change when we trust in him.. Luke 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

Christ’s peace rests in our hearts, not necessarily in the world around us.

May you experience Christ’s peace in your heart this Christmas.

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