Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will among men.
Luke 2: 14
And his name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
It seems ironic that in a season with so many references to peace that it seems ever more difficult to find.
Yesterday while I was finishing my shopping, I overheard a family argument in the middle of a busy store. They argued loudly back and forth about who was buying what for whom and where to buy, the purpose of shopping and at the very end after increasingly bitter exclamations on both sides, one of the couple said, "What's the point?" in fury and then stomped off. All the while, an unhappy child fussing, whining and begging for attention by their sides.
So badly, I wanted to stop and say something, to remind them that Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, the coming of Mighty God to live among us for a time. I wanted to say to them, that Jesus is about love, that the gifts of his presence are joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness and faitfulness.
I wanted to tell them that celebrating the Prince of Peace didn't depend on gifts and spending money. I think the Grinch got it right...
"Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe
Christmas...perhaps... means a little bit more." (Dr. Seuss)
Today I hung the first of the Christmas decorations, a wreath, unending circle of evergreen signifying eternity and wholeness; a white ribbon, for joy and faith; and an ornament of peace, a blessing to bestow on all who see it.
This day and this night,
may I know O God
The deep peace of the running wave
The deep peace of the flowing air
The deep peace of the quiet earth
The deep peace of the shining stars
The deep peace of the Son of peace.
from Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Phillip Newell