Advent 2016 Devotional: December 9

December 9, 2016

Christmas: Peace on Earth

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-12-55-56-pmGlory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill to all people. Luke 2:14

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

This Christmas season, the message of peace means much more to me than it has ever meant, because the image I have of Christmas is that of sharing the joy of the season and its message of love and peace with my Mom and family. However, this year with the passing of my Mom, I have been wondering how Christmas will look. Mom taught us that Christmas, or nka Mu Nyu (the feast of God’s Son), was a time for celebration and sharing. We celebrated the love of God and shared our love, gifts, food, and drinks with others as we are also reminded here at South Main Baptist Church that “you are never more like Jesus than when you share.” Although I struggle with how to celebrate Christmas 2016 because of the pain of losing my mother, I know the pain of such loss, the feelings of emptiness must not dim the meaning and many messages of Christmas.

I look forward to the celebrations at SMBC and with the members of the W imbum Cultural and Development Association-Houston to which I belong. During the Christmas season, the W imbum women cook their best meal and the men bring drinks for the celebration. We pray together, eat, recite bible verses; our children do a play of the Christmas story. We sing carols and Santa gives special gifts to the children.

This Christmas we must all turn our eyes to the one who comes and brings the peace we need. We should receive the encouragement from Jesus who says: “Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.

Gracious God, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us inner peace that can only come from you. Teach us who have received this gift of love and peace to share with everyone.

Odelia Bongba and her husband, Elias, are members of the Fellowship Class. Dino, their son, also attends South Main. Odelia sings in the Sanctuary Choir.

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