Chaos at Christmas

Pastor Mitch McDonald, Sun Lakes Community Church

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but so often it feels that along with Christmas comes chaos. When young children are around, there is the chaos of anticipation and gifts and wrapping paper and toys and all that comes with that. When it involves teenagers, well, when is there not some level of chaos when teens are around? If you have grown children or extended family, there is the chaos of aligning schedules, different expectations, and trying to balance it all. But sometimes this is not the only type of chaos that we face. Sometimes the problems are a lot more difficult, a lot more complex, and a lot more hurtful.

This Christmas we face a world in chaos. You cannot open the newspaper or watch the news without seeing chaos worldwide. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, there are currently 22 areas of conflict worldwide. Mind you, that doesn’t take into consideration anything taking place within the United States. There is everything from political instability in Venezuela, transnational terrorism in east Africa, the war in Ukraine, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Before we know it, Christmas Eve will be here, and we will be reminded yet once again that: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). As we are reminded of this, the paradox we have to face is how do we embrace these wonderful promises in a world filled with chaos. How do we hold onto a Mighty God and find a Wonderful Counselor in God?

The apostle Paul wrote on similar paradoxes in his letter to the Corinthians, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). The reality is we do live in a confused and chaotic world, and that affects us all in many different ways. But no matter what chaos exists in your life this Christmas, Jesus reminds us where true peace is found: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). It is our hope and prayer that everyone reading this article will embrace the only One who offers true peace.