Chaplain thoughts

Prince of Peace

The holidays can mean different things to different people.

For some, this is the best time of the year. In my tradition, many think of twinkling lights, decorated trees, candy, presents, and the sights and sounds of Christmas. Joyous times of celebration with family and friends readily come to mind.

For others, this time of the year can bring a heaviness of heart; it can feel like a demanding and stressful time, with pressure to get everything done “just right.” There are presents to be bought and wrapped, Christmas cards to be sent, the house needing to be cleaned for family visiting, and holiday meals to be made.

Christmas can sometimes feel exhausting, and if we’re not careful, we can lose our joy during the holiday season. It’s sad to think a time of the year that ought to be special, bringing with it feelings of joy, peace and harmony, can feel to many anything but joyous. Still more, Christmas can even be a time of financial, emotional or relational stress and anxiety. I mean let’s face it, for some people getting together with family for the holidays looks more like an episode of Jerry Springer or Dr. Phil than it does It’s a Wonderful Life!

If this season of the year can at times feel overwhelming for you, I invite you to pause for a quiet moment of refuge from the craziness, and reflect on the words which have provided comfort and peace to countless people over the years: “For to us a child is born, a Son given – and he will be called Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Unfortunately, many times it can feel like our lives are filled with everything but peace. I’ve got four kids at home, and believe me, sometimes the only peace and quiet I can find is when I escape into the bathroom.

In the verse above, the writer Isaiah uses a Hebrew name, sar shalom. Sar means, “the one who is in charge, the chief, the general.” Shalom means, “peace, tranquility, completeness.” The term sar shalom quite literally means, the one who is in charge of our peace. The ancient writer reminds us, we have a general in charge of our peace – we have a commanding authority of our tranquility and wholeness, who wants us to live with peace in our lives. It’s incredible to think we’re given peace from the One who created us, and who loves us.

When my kids were younger, and they were afraid of the dark, they would sometimes cry out for a parent to comfort them. Once my wife or I embraced our child to provide comfort, they were no longer afraid. Why? Because they’d been given the peace of their loving parent. Our presence as a parent, is what comforts our child. In the same way, we are comforted by God’s sacred peace that surpasses all understanding.

As this special season is upon us, ask yourself, “Do I have peace in my life?” Your unit chaplain and religious affairs Airmen truly hope you have peace in your life, and we’re always available 24-7 to talk about the most important questions of faith. We have a unique heavenly calling, and we care about you and your family.

For more information, or to speak with a Luke AFB Chaplain, call 520-228-5411.

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