Read: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)
Reflect: My mom started her day by getting up before the crack of dawn to go to morning mass. She rarely missed a day. If she did, it was because she was ill, or the car wouldn’t start. As she got older, it was harder for her to get up so early. I dismissed her acts of piety as ritualistic. They made little sense to me. When she passed away, she was in the process of completing a three-year spiritual formation course. At age 79, she wanted to be a lay Carmelite nun. After 55 years of marriage, she wanted to be a nun! I thought that was weird!
Mom’s life was far from perfect; she was far from perfect. Yet she was unashamed to meet with God as she was – broken and imperfect. When she returned from early morning mass, she often looked like she had spent time with her Wonderful Counselor, released from the yoke that burdened her. At peace, she was ready to face the day. As she got older and no longer able to get to morning mass, she would quietly sneak into the living room while everyone was still asleep to read her Bible and pray, taking time to be with her Mighty God.
As I look back on it now, I realize that mom and I are a lot alike. The very thing that I dismissed in her is the very thing I long for – to be in God’s presence, to know his way, and to be at peace with the Prince of Peace. What a gift my mom has given me through her example – the gift of faith.
React: Have you received the Prince of Peace as God’s personal gift to you?
Pray: Jesus, thank you for inviting me to receive you as Lord and Savior. Lord, I receive you.