Peace in the chaos   

by Morgan Mitchell   

Advent, a time where we are sitting and waiting.. a word in latin literally meaning  “coming”, something beautiful is coming and entering into our lives this time of year. As we take steps closer to the day December 25, it seems as if we are speeding up our time and attendance at all sorts of places, activities, parties, functions, awkward family meals. 

But what if we stopped for a moment… yep an entire 15 seconds.  Lets do it together. (1…2….3….4…5…6….7….8…..9……10…11…12….13….14…15…) 
If you are anything like me, that probably felt like a waste of time especially in this busy season. What if I told you, God wanted you to experience a deep sense of “Peace” this holiday season. I know this word is thrown around a lot now adays, but the word “Peace” in the Hebrew Scriptures  is the word
( שָׁלוֹם or Shalom ) and this word “means, completeness, wholeness, without cracks”. 
But the thing is as we are continuing to walk towards Christmas day, what if we feel incomplete? What if we feel cracked, or maybe even a little empty. Jesus invites us this advent season to rest in the fact that we are deeply loved, and “COMPLETELY” whole in him, So for the next 7 days lets work on what it means to live out this sense of peace in our lives. 
Pray: God reveal to me the parts that I feel incomplete this week, and fill them with your COMPLETE and unfailing love so that I feel whole. 
Read: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Sunday, December 22
( שָׁלוֹם  or Shalom ) “Peace Completeness and wholeness…”
Our lives are complex, unique, and there are so many moving parts, no wonder we feel like we are missing parts of us here or there. 
Amidst the parties, shopping, Christmas cards, kind gestures, volunteering, what if we realized that Jesus wants to enter into our very complex and unique lives. Not to take us up and out of them, but to walk with us in them. 
Today look for moments to pause. Try to do it 3 times today to (BREATHE IN) whispering “MY GOD IS” then (BREATHE OUT) whispering “WITH ME.” As we walk throughout this week, let’s focus on the idea that God is with us in the complexities, not standing off in the distance aloof and disinterested. 
Pray: God I want to feel you “WITH ME” throughout all of this. 
Read:  “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” — Isaiah 7:14
Monday, December 23

“Jesus is the reason for the season” a clever tag line that I know has been painted on signs, and bumperstickers for decades now. But what does Jesus really bring? He brings good news, news of great love, and pure joy. One of my favorite names for Jesus is “Prince of Peace” man, if we broke that down, “Prince of Wholeness” doesn’t that allow us to feel free to lean into him. A God that offers us more than cheap thrills, and gifts that will fade. But what if today we realized that the completeness of who Jesus is and his Presence far outweighs anything we can buy or do. Because His love and grace is a free gift to us. 

Thats good news if I’ve heard any today. 
Be still and know God calls you into a life of wholeness today. Rest in that, especially in the places you may feel scattered
Read: Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Tuesday, December 24
Family and relatives usually play a big role in our Advent season. But unfortunately sometimes these people who are our own kin, make it the most challenging to experience the depth of Love God has for us in this season. 
Maybe your family causes a sense of anger, anxiety, or rejection within you this season. If thats the case, know you aren’t alone. 
But the good news is this, thats not the end of the story Jesus came to save us, actually his coming was the greatest rescue mission this world has ever seen, and you know what, he doesn’t leave it at saving humanity alone, he came to redeem you and your family as well. To bring it to a sense of peace and alignment with his complete and whole plan.


Read:  “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace…” — Ephesians 2:14-15