Your More Precious Christmas Series: The Practices of Peace
Welcome to the beginning of our Christmas Series, ‘The Practices of Peace.’ This year, we are slowing right down, pausing and we are focussing our attention on the Prince of Peace. He, himself, is our peace, (Ephesians 2:14) and he reigns over our busy-ness, every Christmas party, gift list, and family commitment. Peace makes room in our hearts to celebrate. So, join us in pausing, listening and allowing Peace into our everyday.
Our dream for this series is that it would be a place for us, the More Precious community to stop, breathe and make space for peace.
As the Advent calendar gets incrementally emptier, our diaries fuller, and our bank accounts tighter, we can feel overwhelmed with Christmas - and especially our expectations of a perfect one.
In this season of rushing and people-pleasing and list-writing it seems almost impossible to practice peace. And yet, Jesus says to his disciples: I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. (John 14: 27 TPT)
Peace, I have learnt, is incredibly difficult to define. In fact, in my Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Masters I have found that even scholars and peacebuilders cannot agree on a singular understanding of peace. However, we know that the peace Jesus has won for us on the cross is not subjective, nor is it solely the absence of anxiety or conflict but something far more.
In him all things hold together… For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1: 16-19 ESV)
Jesus’ peace is both perfect: complete and holy, and perfecting: restorative and transformative; granting us reconciliation with God and others and restoring us to reflect the likeness and fullness of Himself.
An ancient hymn (you’ll know the one) sings:
Let earth receive Her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
Let Heaven and Nature sing
I like to think of it this way: in receiving and resting in this peace, we are preparing space in our hearts for Jesus, the fullness of God, and giving an invitation to joy.
This Christmas, here’s how we can practice peace, the way of Jesus:
We trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection life for us and rely on Him as our Perfect Peace.
We release all expectations of perfection in the assurance we are eternally loved and secure in Jesus.
We preoccupy ourselves with what is good and pray His Presence would enable us to be grateful and fully present.
We invite Peace (a pervasive sense of wholeness and life-giving relationship with God) into our season, our schedules, our plans, ourselves, our homes and our world this Christmas.
In doing so, we trust that Joy (a deep understanding and outworking of God’s fullness) will characterise this Christmas, as we courageously delight in the Promise, Presence and Prince of Peace.
When our world feels fragile and our peace is shaken, we return to Jesus and receive His peace, praying that Christ, in whom the fullness of God is pleased to dwell, may dwell in our hearts through faith, filling us to the measure of all the fullness of God.
This post was written by: Abigail
Having graduated from Durham, Abi is based in Brighton doing a Leadership Development Year with her church St Peter's Brighton, while pursuing a Masters in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation. You will often find her engaging with all the lovely More Precious social media followers and curating creative Instagram stories!