You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Each year, as Christmas cards come to the Routledge home from across the U.S. and Canada, we read them and then attach them to two oak support pillars in our living room. As Christmas day gets closer, these posts fill with messages from friends and family. For me, this is a daily reminder of greater things than our temporary struggles. These beams remind me of love, and prayers, as well as changes in each sender’s life. As much as this simple tradition can, it is a signpost of God’s continued care for us.
Traditions are stabilizing factors, balancing our futures beside our pasts. We lean into them when life around us becomes chaotic.
On more than a few of these seasonal notes, there is the word, “Peace.”
Nearby, hanging on the same post is the card which quotes Isaiah 9:6. Christ is referred to as, “The Prince of Peace.” It is what He offers us but we do not have to reside in His peace.
Many of you may already know, Crossroads Farm is putting the finishing touches on our new prayer chapel. Recently, our ancient bank barn was pulled down in order to preserve the barn wood for our next national building project. Our branch in South Boardman, MI is about to embark on a campaign to finish their current facility. Our branch in Cadiz, OH is in process of pulling its leadership team together. Training for their first volunteer corps begins on January 9th. Regular life at the farm can be a bit… well, the opposite of peaceful.
In a week or so, I will be meeting with denomination heads. These conversations always seem to stir the pots. Meetings and funding and training and life, offer us, “busy.”
In only these last two weeks, a couple of our Hillsdale County schools were forced to shut down for a few days because of violent threats. In light of the rash of recent school shootings, the normalcy of school has been disrupted. At the time of writing, the rising number of Covid cases is anything but peaceful. Political turmoil, financial uncertainties and supply line backups are also reasons to roll around in our beds.
These challenges to our, to your peace, are not new or unique. Nor is the solution.
As I focus in on a scene involving a manger, a young couple, a few sheep herders and a baby, I realize my peace comes from a faith in the provision of my God. Nothing else transcends the anxiety. I find peace when I stay my mind on Christ. After all, if I am to believe the rest of the angelic prophesies, I need to trust this simple reality of God’s ample provision.
Sin has been swallowed up in a manger holding a promise. Death has died because of the baby who will die for all. Chaos comes to order when I heed the counsel of the counsellor.
If ever we have needed to hear this message, it is today. I am claiming God’s promise with you today.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6