Read Luke 2:1-20
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger."
Jesus was born in the reign of Caesar Augustus who initiated a long period of relative peace in the Roman Empire, the so called ‘Pax Romana’ or ‘Pax Augusta’. This peace was relative: fewer wars, less insurgency due to Roman’s brutal occupation, more education and prosperity. But this was not real peace. Only Jesus, the Prince of Peace can bring the biblical ‘shalom’ to our lives. This wholeness comes as a result of being reconciled with God, of being rightly related to Him. And it was to lowly shepherds, considered to be so unreliable that their testimony was not even accepted in a court of law, that the angels appeared and who were the first ones to give testimony of the birth of Our Lord and Saviour. This all happened in the vicinity of the caves in Shepherd's Field just outside Bethlehem which you will be visiting soo.
Bethlehem means the ‘House of Bread’, an appropriate name for the place where the Lord Jesus, the living bread came down from heaven (John 6:51) was to be born.
Sometimes we are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves. We are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God or not making the time to listen to what He is really saying in the depths of our heart. Ask God for the gift of His peace which can comfort and disturb us simultaneously, in the sense that it brings both healing and challenges to our life and lifestyle.
Lord thank you for the gift of peace. Please help me keep the vision of my life focused on you especially when I am tempted to look away. Prepare my heart to receive your peace during the upcoming pilgrimage.