I remember thinking, when I first become a father, that if I had known of the change it makes within you then I would have become a father years ago. It is a feeling that is rarely duplicated yet lived daily. Nothing else seems as important when children arrive and once you have had children you remain a parent forever.
I wonder if the world felt the same, felt its worth, at the birth of its Saviour? Unlikely! Luke tells us that Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth was crowded for the census. Among the throng were shepherds who no doubt brought their stock of sheep with them, close to the towns: extra people, extra animals.
In a world with heightened distractions comes the unobtrusive birth of a babe; an event that would have gone virtually unnoticed if the occasion didn’t call for the heavenly host bursting through the heavens to proclaim his arrival. In this busy world comes the babe who redefines ‘peace’ – the angels’ excited acclamation.
Peace often goes unnoticed. It is not found in the crowd of people or stock. When peace is achieved, there is a sense of worth, a deep sense: a sense that is brought about by the spirit of Christ in us; a profound gift that enables the Christian to hold close to faith even during times of strife and persecution.
Not long after the birth of Jesus the Holy Family had to flee due to the loss of peace in society through Herod’s genocidal persecution. Society is still in turmoil, yet fragile inner peace prevails for those whose ‘soul felt it worth’, even if the world didn’t.
Our response to this as followers of Christ is to find our peace in a busy world. Where distractions abound peace is required all the more. And there is hope in the knowledge that peace will prevail with the change that is made within us through Christ: a feeling of peace that is rarely duplicated yet lived daily.