One of the most exciting times in a person’s life is the time of their engagement to be married. It is a time of waiting, excitement, joy, and dreaming. Planning a wedding, thinking about the future, dreaming about a family. There are so many things to be excited about. But for Mary, this time of excitement quickly turned into a time of surprise and concern. God had put a baby in her womb and that was a HUGE surprise. You can only imagine how anxious, worried, and concerned she would have been and all the questions she would have been asking. But it was GOD who did this. God was in charge. And in the midst of a very strange situation, God gave Mary a wonderful gift. He gave her the gift of “peace.” To have peace is to have a calm and content heart even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Peace is something we all need and peace is something that only God can give.
As you read these stories, think about the way in which Mary needed peace, and the way she received peace.
(Links open in a new tab to the text in ESV)
Think about these truths
Peace is not tied to our circumstances.
Peace is tied to a Person – Christ Jesus.
Peace comes to those who trust in that Person – King Jesus.
Children are often attached to specific objects that bring peace when they are upset. Ask your children to show you their “comforter.”
Adults, what soothing object do you remember clinging to as a child? Where are those “comforters” now? What happened to them?
How is the peace that Jesus Christ brings us different from the comfort that comes from a blanket or a stuffed animal?
Mary admitted her fear to God and then accepted His Word as truth over her feeling of fear. Tell God what is leading you to feel fear. Ask Him to replace your fear with the peace of Jesus through the truth of Scripture. Give thanks to Jesus for being true and trustworthy always.
Make a prayer list of those around you that need Jesus to bring His peace over the circumstances of their life. Pray for them every day this week. Send them a Christmas card from your family so they know that you prayed for them.
Philippians 4:4-7 teaches us how to pray when we are anxious. We receive the peace of God when we choose to give Him prayers of thanksgiving. Set a gift bag or box under the Christmas tree but don’t close it. Everyone write down (or dictate) a prayer of thanksgiving and gift it to the Lord by placing it in His gift bag. Leave the supplies handy so you and your family can add prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord each time you feel anxious or fearful. On Christmas day, read your gifts of praise to the Lord.
Advent Guide: Week 1