Some of the greatest Christmas Carols have much to teach us about the Fruit of the Spirit, Peace. Silent Night ends with a prayer to baby Jesus, “Sleep in heavenly peace.” And, Away in a Manger, pictures the baby Jesus asleep and not crying in the hay.
A sleeping baby is the perfect picture of Peace. No matter what is going on around them, babies can sleep. My parents love to tell the infamous story of how I slept through fireworks as a small kid. I even fell asleep in a bowl of ice cream once when I was very young. No matter what was going on around me, I was able to be sound asleep. That’s peace.
Peace is being in a place internally that allows one to block out everything going on externally. A person can be at peace in the middle of a battlefield. It’s what’s going on inside that determines peace. Peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of something much more powerful: Jesus. When Jesus is in your heart you can be at peace even when life all around is chaos and noise. When Jesus is in your heart you can sleep soundly in the face of fireworks. When Jesus is in your heart you can know peace that passes all understanding. It’s one of God’s greatest Christmas gifts. Not only does Jesus sleep in heavenly peace, but you can too!
Dear Jesus, you slept soundly in the manger amidst animals and their noises. No matter what is going on around us fill us with your peace. Amen.