THE SOUND OF PEACE

by Mark Schatzman | Dec. 15, 2018

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’”

LUKE 1:26-28 ESV

Today, the countdown to Christmas is “T-10.” If this was New Year’s Eve, we’d be anticipating the celebration. If we were astronauts, we’d be bracing ourselves for liftoff. As I look at the world I live in, the final countdown to Christmas feels somewhere in between a rocket blast and a family celebration. Which is ironic. Because all we want during this Advent season is a little peace. And peace comes from quiet, right? Or does it? Is peace just the absence of chaos, or is there something more to peace?

Ironically, the first Christmas is set in a time of too much quiet. God had been silent for 400 years. Israel had heard from no prophet; God had spoken no new Word. And that silence created chaos—politically, socially, and spiritually. Chaos came from too much silence. That silence was due to the absence of something. Actually, the absence of Someone.

The promised Rescuer still had not come. Day after day, Judah waits. Year after year, chaos continues. Until one, sovereignly-selected day, the chaos is broken.

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:26-28 NIV).

That’s what we need. Not mere silence in the chaos; but the presence of Someone greater than the chaos! The Advent story begins with, “God sent…” Peace is the activity of God. He breaks the chaotic silence with a message to Mary. Gabriel’s message begins, “Greetings, highly favored one!” Mary would hear that as, “Joy!… you who are greatly graced!” Why joy? Why is Mary greatly graced?  Because “The Lord is with you!”

There it is—the promise of presence. Peace comes from the presence of God. Advent’s primary activity is to provide God’s presence! 

Therefore, the prime experience of peace for us this season is to experience the presence of God in the midst of the chaos. 

Mary is “greatly troubled” by Gabriel’s message (Luke 1:29). Who wouldn’t be?! God is shattering 400 years of silence by coming to mankind, as a man! And Mary is His chosen means. If peace is the absence of chaos, then Mary’s story ends with “greatly troubled.” But that’s not where it ends. Her final words to Gabriel are, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38 NIV).

These are words of strong, gritty peace! How does Mary experience peace when her quiet life was shattered? From the presence.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31 NIV).

This Christmas, you might be tempted to think, “If only ___ would change, then I’d have peace.” Yet the Advent story reminds us that, in Jesus, we have the promise of God being with us and God being for us. Peace doesn’t come from an absence of chaos. Peace comes from the presence of God’s promised Son.

9 Comments

  1. Carl Kimbro

    When we suddenly found ourselves raising our granddaughters 6 years ago this month, we thought we would never have peace, joy or happiness again. And for months that was true. But then God sent people like Wayne and Vicki Kennedy into our lives, and people like Cliff and Tracy Thompson into the girls lives. They helped us see that we needed to stop looking for peace in other things and instead look to Jesus for our peace. It wasn’t easy because the hurt was so deep and the chaos so strong. But turning to Jesus restored our peace and joy. Our story is proof that what you say is true. Turning to the Savior does bring peace!

    Reply
  2. Darla Beller

    I can’t let go of what you said at the beginning, Mark, about the silence creating chaos. Our own world is pretty chaotic right now. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes and there is no peace. You are absolutely right that peace is found in Jesus. It’s a gift many of us as followers of Christ experience greatly even in the midst of the chaos. But, we must not be silent! We must share the reason for the hope that we have, the reason we are at peace despite our circumstances. It’s why we are here! Just like Mary’s purpose was to bring Jesus into a world that desperately needed Him we are to do the same. Yes, it’s not without it’s difficultiies. People don’t always receive the news well. I want my response to purpose of sharing Jesus with the world to be the same as Mary’s. I am the Lord’s servant. Do with me as you desire.

    Reply
  3. Yami Pate

    Thank you Mark, So good to be reminded that His presence with us is the source of everything. I want to be a seeker of his presence.
    Ron: 8:32 He who did not spare his own son…will he not also, along with him graciously gives us all things?

    Reply
  4. Pearl Lind

    Thank you Mark and Carl for your encouragement to turn to the Savior for our peace when there is chaos around us. Glenn and I will be opening our home to a 17 year old granddaughter later this month. We have peace that this is what the Lord would have us do. However, we know going into it that we will have to constantly turn to Jesus for our strength and peace.

    Reply
  5. Carl Kimbro

    Pearl
    Cheryl and I lead a group here at Fellowship called GAP (Grandparents as Parents). We can offer you encouragement and advice. Give us a call if you want to 479-640-6084 for Cheryl. 479-619-6211 for me.

    Reply
  6. Shauna Shrum

    “May it be done to me as you have said.” My heart’s desire.

    Reply
  7. Joy Newberry

    Thank you Mark.
    Peace is a person… Jesus!
    John 14:27
    Jesus said, “ Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Let not your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”
    Colossians 3:15
    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts

    Christmas and New Year Blessings

    Reply
  8. Pierce McIntyre

    Great insights!

    Reply
  9. Cindy Moseley

    I so needed this! Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Sound of Peace

BY: Mark Schatzman | Dec. 15, 2018

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’”

LUKE 1:26-28 ESV

Today, the countdown to Christmas is “T-10.” If this was New Year’s Eve, we’d be anticipating the celebration. If we were astronauts, we’d be bracing ourselves for liftoff. As I look at the world I live in, the final countdown to Christmas feels somewhere in between a rocket blast and a family celebration. Which is ironic. Because all we want during this Advent season is a little peace. And peace comes from quiet, right? Or does it? Is peace just the absence of chaos, or is there something more to peace?

Ironically, the first Christmas is set in a time of too much quiet. God had been silent for 400 years. Israel had heard from no prophet; God had spoken no new Word. And that silence created chaos—politically, socially, and spiritually. Chaos came from too much silence. That silence was due to the absence of something. Actually, the absence of Someone.

The promised Rescuer still had not come. Day after day, Judah waits. Year after year, chaos continues. Until one, sovereignly-selected day, the chaos is broken.

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:26-28 NIV).

That’s what we need. Not mere silence in the chaos; but the presence of Someone greater than the chaos! The Advent story begins with, “God sent…” Peace is the activity of God. He breaks the chaotic silence with a message to Mary. Gabriel’s message begins, “Greetings, highly favored one!” Mary would hear that as, “Joy!… you who are greatly graced!” Why joy? Why is Mary greatly graced?  Because “The Lord is with you!”

There it is—the promise of presence. Peace comes from the presence of God. Advent’s primary activity is to provide God’s presence! Therefore, the prime experience of peace for us this season is to experience the presence of God in the midst of the chaos.

Mary is “greatly troubled” by Gabriel’s message (Luke 1:29). Who wouldn’t be?! God is shattering 400 years of silence by coming to mankind, as a man! And Mary is His chosen means. If peace is the absence of chaos, then Mary’s story ends with “greatly troubled.” But that’s not where it ends. Her final words to Gabriel are, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38 NIV).

These are words of strong, gritty peace! How does Mary experience peace when her quiet life was shattered? From the presence.

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31 NIV).

This Christmas, you might be tempted to think, “If only ___ would change, then I’d have peace.” Yet the Advent story reminds us that, in Jesus, we have the promise of God being with us and God being for us. Peace doesn’t come from an absence of chaos. Peace comes from the presence of God’s promised Son.

9 Comments

  1. Carl Kimbro

    When we suddenly found ourselves raising our granddaughters 6 years ago this month, we thought we would never have peace, joy or happiness again. And for months that was true. But then God sent people like Wayne and Vicki Kennedy into our lives, and people like Cliff and Tracy Thompson into the girls lives. They helped us see that we needed to stop looking for peace in other things and instead look to Jesus for our peace. It wasn’t easy because the hurt was so deep and the chaos so strong. But turning to Jesus restored our peace and joy. Our story is proof that what you say is true. Turning to the Savior does bring peace!

    Reply
  2. Darla Beller

    I can’t let go of what you said at the beginning, Mark, about the silence creating chaos. Our own world is pretty chaotic right now. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes and there is no peace. You are absolutely right that peace is found in Jesus. It’s a gift many of us as followers of Christ experience greatly even in the midst of the chaos. But, we must not be silent! We must share the reason for the hope that we have, the reason we are at peace despite our circumstances. It’s why we are here! Just like Mary’s purpose was to bring Jesus into a world that desperately needed Him we are to do the same. Yes, it’s not without it’s difficultiies. People don’t always receive the news well. I want my response to purpose of sharing Jesus with the world to be the same as Mary’s. I am the Lord’s servant. Do with me as you desire.

    Reply
  3. Yami Pate

    Thank you Mark, So good to be reminded that His presence with us is the source of everything. I want to be a seeker of his presence.
    Ron: 8:32 He who did not spare his own son…will he not also, along with him graciously gives us all things?

    Reply
  4. Pearl Lind

    Thank you Mark and Carl for your encouragement to turn to the Savior for our peace when there is chaos around us. Glenn and I will be opening our home to a 17 year old granddaughter later this month. We have peace that this is what the Lord would have us do. However, we know going into it that we will have to constantly turn to Jesus for our strength and peace.

    Reply
  5. Carl Kimbro

    Pearl
    Cheryl and I lead a group here at Fellowship called GAP (Grandparents as Parents). We can offer you encouragement and advice. Give us a call if you want to 479-640-6084 for Cheryl. 479-619-6211 for me.

    Reply
  6. Shauna Shrum

    “May it be done to me as you have said.” My heart’s desire.

    Reply
  7. Joy Newberry

    Thank you Mark.
    Peace is a person… Jesus!
    John 14:27
    Jesus said, “ Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Let not your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”
    Colossians 3:15
    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts

    Christmas and New Year Blessings

    Reply
  8. Pierce McIntyre

    Great insights!

    Reply
  9. Cindy Moseley

    I so needed this! Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas