A Peace-filled Silent Night?

By the time we sing Silent Night via candlelight on Christmas Eve, chances are we’ll be doing so after having run as fast as we can to get there! If your life is anything like ours, the list of things yet to do before Christmas (on top of an already full-to-overflowing life) feels overwhelming: create decorations, bake cookies, finish shopping, mail packages, send cards, attend events, prepare meals…just to name a few!

While we’re in the final countdown to Christmas, it might be good to add one more item to the list that’s good for your soul: seek peace. Yes, the peace that’s found in quiet places of rest and refreshment. It’s the only peace for your weary soul, discovered in the true hallmark of Christmas: Jesus himself.

Can you find one solid hour for yourself in the coming week to ponder the meaning of Advent and Christmas? A few ideas to consider: use the hour to be alone and reflect in your journal on the gifts of the season and the joy of knowing Jesus; put headphones on and listen to Handel’s Messiah or other classical music of the Advent and Christmas season and let your heart soar with praise; sit by a fire in a darkened room, pray quietly and enjoy the warmth that radiates; put your feet up in your most comfortable chair and savor the sights and smells of your decorated home thanking Jesus for being a part of his family; take a walk in the woods or by the ocean (or another body of water) and consider the vastness of God’s creation that Jesus entered on that first Christmas morning; stop in the middle of a crowded street and look prayerfully around you at the myriad of souls crying out for a Savior.

There are many options to consider as you await the singing of Silent Night by candlelight on Christmas Eve. Will you rush your way to the manger once more? Choose now to enter the joy of Christmas with the true peace of Jesus reigning in your heart and soul.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.