“Peace on earth…on whom his favor ‘RESTS’…

“Peace on earth…on whom his favor ‘RESTS’…

by Pastor Kurt Ebert on December 01, 2023

It is about this time of year that I find the days start feeling shorter and shorter. Well, yes, the days are technically getting shorter in respect to the amount of sunlight, but I’m talking more about the fact that in the month of December we fill our lives so full that the day seems shorter. It seems like we never have enough time to get “everything” done. The month of December isn’t what many people would describe as “restful”. All the present shopping, house decorating, cookie baking, card writing, party attending, family traveling, and people visiting end up packing the days so full that we spend January trying to recover from holiday exhaustion—and a little bit holiday overeating as well. In the midst of this Christmas busyness, I can’t help but think of what God might say about all our “busyness.” What would his invitation to us be in these shortened days of December?

  Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
  Psalm 46:10-11 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

In the busyness of Christmas it’s hard to “Be still. We all have things to do. It’s hard to take a breath, let alone take a break, and even harder to find true rest. Yet, it is into the busyness of this world that our Lord Jesus Christ was born. It was into the hustle and bustle that this gift of Christ was given. He came to bring peace and rest to all our strivings and searchings. It was due to the busy comings and goings of life that “there was no room in the inn.”

It is my prayer that all our comings and goings may not crowd out the coming of our Lord Jesus into our lives this Christmas. I pray that each of you has the chance to step back and sit in the peaceful glow of your Christmas tree, with perhaps a few Christmas hymns playing in the background, and simply read, reflect, and pray about the blessings that have come to us in the Christ child. We rest in the fact that He has done it all for you. There is no amount of effort and busyness that will be able to deal with the darkness of our sin—only the light of Christ’s love can dispel the stain of sin, our struggle for control, and our hopeless efforts to “do it all.” Relax this Christmas season in knowing that He has dealt with what is needful. He has come to save you from carrying the weight of the world. He says to us, “Be still, and know that I am God…” or the Gospel of Luke says it this way, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests" (Luke 2:13-14).

May His peace and favor “rest” on you this Christmastime and may you know of His great love all the days of your life. God’s blessings to you this Advent and Christmas.

God’s Peace, Pastor Kurt Ebert