The gift of peace

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I’ve always loved Christmas. As a child, my favorite part of the holiday was the gifts and a long school break. Even though I figured out at a young age the real deal on Santa Claus (and spoiling the secret for one of my older sisters!), finding presents under the tree on Christmas morning was exciting.

While the spiritual aspect of the season may be obvious to many, it took a Saul of Tarsus experience to awaken me. That moment came with me nearly getting kicked out of the Marine Corps at 20 years old because of my uncontrollable drinking problem. Being on the All Marine Corps boxing team didn’t curtail my addiction. I wound up in Alcoholics Anonymous where I got sober and clear thinking. That part of my journey led me to explore my spirituality and seven years later, I found a personal faith in Christ Jesus.

Following that change, Christmas took on a whole new meaning for me. I understood the true “Reason for the Season”: that God changed the course of history by becoming a human being so we could have a relationship with God. While I still enjoy presents, celebrations, eating lots of cookies, Christmas music, decorations and family time, this season means so much more to me now.

That famous theologian Linus told Charlie Brown, “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’ (Luke 2:8-14, NIV).”

Perhaps you are curious of the deeper meaning of Christmas. I encourage you to explore your faith. Begin a conversation with God, read God’s word. Visit one of our chapel services or a local church with your family or friends.

Editor’s note: The Chaplain’s Corner covers everything faith related. Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.