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  • Writer's pictureMaria A. Mansfield

The Gift of Peace

I love Christmas. Everything about it. I want to think of it as a season of thoughtful giving, gatherings with family and friends, winter cheer, timeless traditions, joy, peace, and of course, remembering why we celebrate it.

Although it’s a pity sometimes, it seems we get so busy with the preparations, the decorations, the shopping, and checking off our to-do lists instead. We worry if we did enough to get the right gifts, the best greeting cards, and all the logistics for the holidays “just right.” Just getting a parking spot at the Mall becomes a challenge. Doesn’t it all sound so exhausting? And yet, next December, we are sure to do it all over again. How so? Because Christmas is a big deal. Regardless of whether we believe in the spirit of Christmas, we still celebrate the season.

Most times, I believe, our homes appear to be more ready for Christmas than our hearts. Our gift-giving becomes a source of stress, family gatherings can cause anxiety, and the winter cheer, the joy, and the gift of peace could quickly escape us. And, we sometimes fail to meaningfully observe the birth of the Savior in all the busyness.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, and He offers this same peace to us. A deep calm that surpasses what we’d typically stock. I honestly don’t really know anyone who has a surplus of peace all the time -especially during the holidays. -Do you? Maybe it’s a gift we choose daily.

When I think of that first Christmas and how simple it looked and yet so profoundly meaningful, I just find it inspiring. Joseph knows they have to go to Bethlehem for the census. And, here’s Mary, nine months pregnant riding on a donkey! -Don’t ask! Traveling with no confirmed hotel reservations, no baby bag, no latte, and certainly no obstetrician! And yet, she manages to remain at peace, knowing that everything will work out. She trusts that the promise the Angel had announced will be fulfilled according to what the ancient Scriptures had prophesied. How was that possible? She undoubtedly had to have the gift of Peace from God.

The gift of peace still stands available for us, 20 centuries later. How I wish I could take advantage of it more often. Just having that assurance that our worry doesn’t add a day to our lives and certainly doesn’t prevent any disadvantage or challenge from happening. The lack of peace only steals our joy, our strength, and our hope. Yet how easily we barter peace for stress.

I hope we can receive the peace and the gift of a Savior we are offered. By far the most valuable gift under the tree. Observing we need them more than anything else that’s wrapped so pretty. We share presents because we were given a Gift. We believe because we were also given Faith. We have the choice to stay calm because we’re offered Peace. I know I need more peace in my life. So I think I’ll just receive it. -How about you?

All my best and Merry Christmas to you and your family,

Maria A. Mansfield, PRS, CLC


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