My boys are busy writing their letters to Santa. They’re not ready to post it yet, just in case they think of something else they want to ad! And that got me thinking…
Letters have been an important part of life in the early Church too. The apostle Paul travelled from city to city to share the good news about Jesus Christ with the people, and as soon as he left a city he started writing them letters to answer questions they had and also to encourage them to stand strong in their new-found faith. Some of these letters are included in our New Testament.
In one of these letters, Philippians 4:4-7, Paul said: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!...Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Paul had to endure lots of trials and tribulations because he stood up for his faith. But he never once allowed anything to put him off from believing in God. So when he says that we can ask God anything we want, I take his word for it, because he is speaking from experience. Paul doesn’t say that God will always give you what you’ve asked for straight away, but that he will give you what you need. And if you have the courage to ask, the one thing you will most certainly get, is the peace of God. Because very often, that is all we really need. The peace to move on, to accept, to let go, to adapt, to forgive… The peace of knowing that God is in control of your life, no matter what.
So let’s all ask God for everything we need and everything we long for this Christmas, but let’s also accept that His peace, the peace that transcends all human understanding, is the biggest gift anybody could ever ask for – and we’ve already been given that in Jesus Christ.
May God bless you all this Christmas, and be close to you in the new year.