First of all, thank you to those of you who have downloaded or purchased The Gift of Christmas Present: Advent Devotions for Regaining Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. I hope you’re finding it encouraging and helpful.

During the holidays, sometimes tensions can run high. Conflicts happen, despite our best intentions. Since that happens to be the topic of  today’s entry from The Gift of Christmas Present, I thought I’d share it with you. (It’s a little like those free samples they used to hand at Costco in the old days.)

If you haven’t got your copy yet, it’s not too late to jump in. The sample below is today’s entry, but you can also just dip in and out of this book and ignore the dates. Why not give yourself five minutes right now to refocus, rest and reflect?

I’d love to hear what thoughts today’s journaling question prompted—or your overall thoughts on this resource. Thanks for reading!

Read:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…

(Ephesians 2:13-14, NIV)

Reflect:

Polarization. It’s a word you hear a lot these days. In fact, we’ve been hearing it for years, as people dig in and hold tight to their positions. Civilized conversation between opposing viewpoints sometimes feels impossible.

This morning, my husband was on the phone with a friend who was trying to convince him that the entire pandemic was a hoax. I tried to keep quiet but eventually jumped into the conversation when he said the vaccine actually lowers your immunity, rather than boosting it. I wanted to reach through the phone and shake him.

Polarization is nothing new. People have been taking sides, and fighting over those positions, for centuries.

Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul reminded Jews and Gentiles that Jesus himself had destroyed the barrier of hostility between them. This radical change didn’t come easily.

We cannot have peace within ourselves, if we are in conflict with others, or consider them inferior. What feel like irreconcilable differences can only be resolved by Jesus, the one who is himself our peace. But will we allow him to speak into these conflicts, to guide us toward peace?

Journal: What comes to mind when you hear the word “polarization”? Maybe you think of a political, religious, or societal conflict? How could you live at peace with those on the opposite side of that conflict?

Pray: God, please show me today how to be an agent of peace and reconciliation. Help me to love those who see things differently than I do.

 

P.S. You can download a free ebook version of The Gift of Christmas Present here. If you love to scribble and underline and want some space for journaling right in the book, you can get the paperback on amazon for just $7.99 right here.

 

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