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Dearly Beloved...

Peace is not just a word. 
In the advent of Christmas, the arrival of Jesus, we reflect on the story of His coming and all that took place before it. We plunk ourselves directly into the anticipation and our imaginations feast on what that must have felt like. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, etc were all filled with incredible anticipation, and I’m sure - even though the Angel said not to - they probably had some fear mixed in there too. 
We are going to look back a little further to the book of Isaiah today. I would encourage you to read chapters 53 and 54 this Christmas season. Here we find out that peace is not just a word, it’s a person: Jesus. 
Isaiah 53:5 - "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him."
Through Jesus, we have peace. Covenant Peace. Supernatural Peace. Life-changing, soul freeing, joy filling peace. It is not dependent on circumstance. It is not an object that the enemy can steal (though he tries). It is a promise, a person, a sure foundation. Isaiah 54:10 says this, “Though the mountains are shaken and the hills are removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace removed .” 
It kinda seems like mountains are shaking and hills are being removed these days hey? Our world is being turned upside down by all sorts of things. We have a physical pandemic that we can point at to blame, but really...what this pandemic is actually doing is revealing the source of our peace. What have I put my trust in? What do I believe will get me through this season? What will help me sleep at night? If I only have peace when life feels safe, secure, and sure then my source of peace lies in something other than Jesus. Misdirected sources of peace = chaos, fear, and unrest. 
Friends, we have available to us a Covenant Peace found in Jesus. It’s a promise and it’s a person. This promise of peace is not a promise of the absence of chaos. It’s a promise of ‘no matter the circumstance, I am with you.’ Advent is an invitation for us to recalibrate, or as Siri reminds us “go back to the route”, to truly fix our time, attention and focus on the Person in whom we find our Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love; Jesus. 
This season I pray for Peace over your household, Peace over your children, Peace over your family and their family, Peace over your work and your play. Peace in your heart, your soul, and your mind. May the Peace that is Jesus infuse every area of your life this Christmas season to bring healing, hope, forgiveness, and joy. And, may you spread the Peace of Jesus to everyone you know.Merry Christmas! 
Pastor Laura