Center Peace

A song called “Take a Walk Through Bethlehem” was made popular on a 1994 Christmas album from Trisha Yearwood. It’s worth a Google.

One phrase still lingers in my memory: “‘Cause every heart longs for more than tinsel/ Something more than just a holiday/ Come and celebrate the baby King/ Let’s take a walk.”

Hmmmm.  A lot is packed into these four lines.

Augustine said around 400 AD, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” Truly, our hearts were meant to beat for more than twinkly lights and roasted chestnuts. But, oh, how many seasons do I get myself so tangled in the tinsel as I find myself not walking —but rather sprinting— through the season.

Fifteen Christmases ago was my first as a married woman. I was planning to host my in-loves and my mother had traveled from South Carolina to Georgia to assist me in making final preparations. Frantically, I raced between the kitchen and dining room. After placing a casserole into the oven, I grabbed a bunch of bells of Ireland and began shoving them among the dahlias, roses, peonies and hydrangea in the blue and white porcelain container on the center of our dining room table.

Mother gently placed her hand on my shoulder and whispered, “Don’t forget Jesus.”

Looking at her quizzically, she confessed, “I used to do the same thing you’re doing.  I got so caught up in making sure all the details of my centerpiece were perfect that I forgot to focus on the Center Peace of my life—Jesus.”

I had to check my focus again this morning.  Lee and I have been away in Nevada for four days. Though the trip was lovely, I find myself trying to catch up.  After all, there is buying and wrapping and meal planning and changing diapers and checking homework and…

There is Jesus.

Make Him the Center Peace of your life this Christmas season. Ephesians 2:14 confirms, “For He is our peace…”.

When Christ is at the center, our circumference will be secure and settled.

birch basket cp with cross


11 thoughts on “Center Peace

  1. What a beautiful reminder Tara. I just caught myself this morning with the Today Show on, Email up, Facebook perched, Christmas shopping list peering at me, My to-do list to my right with a bunch of ‘would like to accomplish today’ things on it….not to mention wanting to relish every bit of Christmas magic this home of ours in NYC offers this time of year. We are only here a year, right? I tell myself. I don’t want to miss something. Your timing is impeccable Tara. You blog today what is on the hearts of most of us I’d say. Just before reading your post today, I sensed Him in the midst of it all saying………”Turn it off for a moment, why don’t you come hang out with me for a while….put first things first and I will take care of the rest.” God truly is not out to squash the fun memories my family is making this year, but I so often sense His Spirit reminding me to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Oh goodness, why is this so hard? We know better don’t we? We’ve “tasted and seen” how Good He is! Thanks Tara, you are a gift. XXOO, Cindy

      • What a great idea! I think I might just head down to a florist two blocks from me that I’ve been eyeing from the outside and see if she can whip up something like this. Might even be an opportunity to share the Love of Jesus with her. 🙂

  2. After reading this beautiful piece… I just posted on my facebook the following from Greg Laurie… it fits with what you wrote and what your mother said to you 15 Christmas’s ago. Love you Tara and your love and obedience to Our LORD is in all you do….. Here is What Greg wrote;

    Christmas has been hijacked. I am not just talking about the secularists who want to remove the phrase Merry Christmas and replace it with Happy Holidays. Christmas has been taken and effectively gutted. It’s as though our culture has taken the word Christmas, emptied it of its meaning, dragged it through the gutter, and handed it back, minus its power. The problem is not just with the secularizing of Christmas. Even well-meaning Christians have either romanticized it or made it so sentimental that perhaps they are missing the real story.

    As we think about Christmas, we have a sentimental picture in our minds of the manger scene. There is the baby Jesus. There is Joseph. There is Mary. They all, of course, have their own halos. Then there are the shepherds looking on. The wise men are there too, usually in color-coordinated outfits.

    The reality is that no one had halos. The wise men didn’t visit Jesus while He was lying in the manger. Matthew’s Gospel says they did not arrive until sometime later (as many as two years later). And the Bible doesn’t say there were three wise men; it says they brought three gifts.

    Then there is the way we have romanticized Christmas with images of snowy countrysides and horse-drawn sleighs and frosty windows and red candles. Maybe we are missing its true message and its real beauty.

    So let’s peel away the tradition. Let’s peel away the things that cause us not to see the birth of Jesus for what it really was. Learning this does not diminish its impact; it actually enhances its power. After all, this was the night that forever divided time, the night when God Himself came to this earth. It was the night when God stepped out of heaven and entered history

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