Editor’s note: We know how busy this month can be for volunteers and church staff. This devotion originally appeared in the December version of our Grab & Go newsletter, but we’re reprinting it here so that you’ll have a ready-to-go devotion for the last full week of the holiday season. As always, feel free to use this devotion with the groups or individuals to whom you minister. Most of all, though, take a moment and read it yourself. Let our Lord Jesus encourage you before you set out to encourage others.
Consider these words: Clamor. Chaos. Commotion. Demands. Uproar. Tumult. Pandemonium!
Now consider these: Calmness. Serenity. Peace. Quiet. Harmony. Tranquility. Silence. Stillness.
Finally, think about the word Christmas.
Does it fit better with the first group of words or the second?
Keeping your answer in mind, consider Psalm 46:10—“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Does this verse strike you as a Christmas text? I’m not sure I have ever heard Psalm 46:10 used at Christmas! At Christmastime, we are much more likely to hear Bible texts like these:
- She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. Isaiah 9:6–7
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Those are Christmas verses! And yet, the more I think about the clamor, the chaos, the commotion, the uproar, the total pandemonium that this season so often brings into our lives, the more convinced I become that Psalm 46:10 is the perfect Christmas verse.
These words are God’s Word to us: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
In the roar of the mall, most times we cannot even hear ourselves think. In the commotion of clashing commitments that clutter our calendars, we struggle to find time for anything else, even a moment or two of worship. When agitation and anxiety wrap themselves around our hearts, receiving God’s great Christmas gift, the gift of peace, becomes nearly impossible.
But when we sit in silence with the shepherds, when we listen to the song of the angels as it fades away into the darkness, God’s peace descends. When we join those shepherds in their quiet trek to Bethlehem, we grasp anew the wonder of our Savior’s birth.
As we kneel in the quiet that envelopes the manger, we hear our Savior’s whispered assurance, “I came to take away your shame. I came to bear your guilt. You are my beloved brother, my dearly loved sister.”
When we pause to sit in the stillness beside Mary, when we join her in pondering the mystery of the tiny infant—the Baby Jesus—born for us, we experience the love of God in the face of the Christ, Mary’s Son and God’s Son.
“Be still!” God says. Is it a command? Yes, but it is more. It is an urgent invitation, an invitation of grace. A summons issued from our heavenly Father’s own great heart of love. “Be still! Receive my love. Let my peace enfold you.”
That command, that invitation, doesn’t stop there. “Be still,” the Bible says, “And know that I am God.” Know that I am God! This is not just the kind of knowing that happens in our heads, in our minds, or in our intellects. This kind of knowing goes far beyond that. It is the kind of knowing that happens in our hearts.
When we “know that he is God,” we kneel in awe at his great power. When we “know that he is God,” we rejoice in the forgiveness he pours out upon us in the cross. When we “know that he is God,” we find peace in the very midst of the chaos that swirls all around us.
Be still. Know. He is God. The God who cared. The God who came. The God who forgives and heals. The very Prince of Peace.
This devotion is slightly adapted from the free Ministry Message that accompanies one of this year’s Christmas themes at CTA: Be Still and Know. If you are looking for a meaningful, last-minute gift to thank those faithful volunteers, CTA may have just what you’re looking for! Check out your options on our Web site!
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.