Create a Sanctuary of Peace This Christmas
Last year I received a card, which was truly symbolic of this Christmas. Through a frosty window pane, the illustrator depicted a family sitting by a fire. The light flickered over tiny pajama-clad figures, with rosy, starry-eyed faces upturned, eagerly listening to their father as he told a Christmas story. As serene as the portrayal appeared, I couldn’t help but wonder about the view looking from the inside out, to our unsettled world.
Christ-centered family traditions are powerful tools that instill a sense of security, faith, family and morality. Create a sanctuary of peace in your home this season. Turn off the superficial revelry and turn on the pure, clear light of Jesus with these Christ-centered activities.
- If only the birds with the prettiest voices were allowed to sing, the forest would be a very quiet place. Bring joy to your world! Sing together! It lifts depression, and psychological experts say crooning may actually prevent the blues. We all know a few Christmas carols. Teach children the words, gather family and friends, and carol around the neighborhood. Minister in song to the lonely and afflicted; seniors and the homeless.
- Hunger for heavenly fellowship. Give God time, attention and affection through family worship, praise and prayer. It strengthens us and alleviates fear and insecurity, just as the psalmist found, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7). The family that prays together, stays together.
- The pure, clear light. Read or tell stories; snack or play games by firelight or candlelight throughout the holidays. The soft, flickering lights have a soothing effect. Children are mesmerized and voices lower to a whisper. Like a little candle burning in the night – security, faith, charity and hope will shine with a pure, clear light. Softly and tenderly, Jesus calls us. On eves such as these, we will hear His voice and create our memories.
- Christ was content with a stable when he was born, so that we could have a mansion when we die. Jesus gave us the greatest gift of all – His love. Write love letters to family members and friends and list what you love about them – and why. Sit together on Christmas morning and read the letters aloud. Watch the facial expressions of the love-gift recipient. The after-glow lasts a lifetime.
- God’s nature. Take the family outdoors and enjoy God’s nature. Gather pinecones, mistletoe, holly, greenery and leaves. Go sledding, build a snowman or make angels in the snow. Carve out a snow bank, and create a manger scene with twigs and branches and remember the humble beginning of the first Christmas at the manger.
- Peace I give unto you. Drench your children’s hearts with the pure clear Light of Christmas. Embrace their fears with Godly tradition. Blanket their worries with faith, and cloak them with peace. When we establish Jesus as the central figure, insecurity flees, uncertainty vanishes, and Peace takes up residence in our homes and in our hearts.