If Christmas means “Peace on Earth” then it should also mean peace within ourselves. Peace in our heart and minds. Peace in our relationships. Even peace with God. In Philippians 4, Paul bring peace on earth down to some very personal needs in our lives.
This was where I had been wanting to take these Christmas messages. I wanted to bring them down to peace within ourselves. We’ve got a lot of people dealing with depression in our community and we’ve got some very stressed relationships. I felt that addressing those needs in the context of Christmas would help drive them home better.
I love how the ESV translates verse five as, “let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” I had some fun with that and it seemed to help. Since the sermon I’ve had a few people tell me about their attempts to be “reasonable” with family members.
This sermon also built on a few of my sermons from the past. I referenced my Thanksgiving series during the sermon but I also took them back to an overwhelming realization about grace that I had this past summer. “If I’m not showing grace to everyone then I’m not actually showing grace to anyone.”
That thought continues to astound and frighten me.