Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe it’s this season in life.
Lights get strung around roofs and windows, making the nights a little less dark. And the songs all turn to joy and peace in a world that too often seems to have neither.
And me? I feel a restlessness.
While people are looking at the star hovering over the birth, my eyes have been drifting to the cross. At a time meant to be about birth and celebration, I’m leaning hard on the tree he hung from.
This time of year, well, it’s downright hard.
From Thanksgiving right on till Christmas Day, it sometimes feels like there’s so little to be thankful for. Why give thanks at all? Why rejoice when we know that the man on that cross was once that infant at her breast?
My throat tightens and I swallow hard at the mere thought of it.
But I know there is something in missing in all of this. The story is missing a piece.
More often than not, it happens like this.
I’m reading one thing which leads to another which leads to my bible being thrown open. And with a pen I begin the search. I track it down the pages until I really get it.
Peace, the missing piece.
It doesn’t end with the cross but rather begins at the cross. Something was lost and there was pain but only for something even greater to be born. And we carry this in our bodies, his life and death and resurrection. Paul says it in 2 Corinthians and I feel it deep.
“I am always with you,” Jesus said (Mt 28:20). I pause and let that sink in. It was days ago that I wrote that down, quickly, just for myself, but it’s only now that it’s all coming together. The missing piece sliding into place.
How can I house such a restless heart when the peace of Christ is in us? How could there be room for anything else?
That restlessness, it tugs and pulls and threatens to undo me completely. But it won’t. Because I’ve redirected myself to the cross. How many people do that this time of year? I don’t know. Still. As the body of Christ our story begins at the cross where true peace was delivered.
“… let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,” says Paul, “and be thankful.” (Col 3:15)
Peace is a person and He is always with us. And this is where I will reside and rest and be thankful indeed.