This week we pause from the normalcy of life and focus on the birth of Jesus—our Savior and King. For all who believe in Him, the true celebration of Christmas is the birth of our Lord.

Norman Vincent Peale once said; “I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”

However, instead of a confident sense of the Christmas spirit changing the world, we may feel like the 19th Century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote the following words during the American Civil War the Christmas season of 1863:

“And in despair I bowed my head;

‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;

‘For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

‘God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!’”

Through eyes of faith Longfellow chose reality over some of the circumstances around him. We must do the same. Our God is alive and well. He is true peace. And He has given us His promise: “The knowledge of the glory of the Lord SHALL cover the earth as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

Let’s expect our God to use us as His vessels to bring godly change to our world as Christ lives His life through us. I look forward to standing together with you to see this become reality in 2014.

May you have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year!