Monday, December 24, 2012

A Strange Peace

I woke to a quiet morning when no one was stirring, except for my early bird husband making the coffee in the kitchen.  Several thoughts converged at once.  I began to think about what other things I needed to prepare for both today, Christmas Eve, and for tomorrow, Christmas Day.  I thought about the troubles in this world, the terrible shootings, the unrest in so many parts of the world.  And strangely, I thought about a couple of years ago when a blizzard raged in Chicago, a day when for an unbelievable 24 hours, there was no crime -- no shootings, no robberies, no violence (this peace broken ironically by two men forcibly stealing a snowblower from an old man trying to dig out his car).  But the city was distracted, and a strange peace ensued.

As I reached for my sweatshirt and slippers, I wondered, "what if this Christmas there was peace? No crime, not a shot fired anywhere in the world, not even a harsh word, a 24-hour amnesty this Christmas?"  That is the way that God intended the world to be.

I have no power to enforce gun laws or prevent wars or protect my city, but I can practice grace and pursue peace where God has placed me.  We have neglected to love those God has placed on our paths, in our homes, those even within reach.  We have forgotten who we truly are:  His beloved.  And because we are so loved, we can love others, not a  harsh word, no ammunition stored away from hurt feelings, no bitterness from Christmas past, but bring to the table joy and that what makes for peace this day.  Seek peace and pursue it.  It is not the other guy's problem, but my own. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned each one to his own way (Isaiah 53.6).

That is why God sent His Son to save us from ourselves.

What a different world we would live in.  And we would witness what the shepherds saw, keeping watch over their flocks by night, a multitude of angels rejoicing,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
     good will among men."

                   Luke 2.14

Merry Christmas, my friend.

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