Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Advent: Peace

I assume this week is peace.   I could be wrong, since I don't know much about these church rituals.  But it doesn't matter, as peace is something we search for all our lives, and something that we always need.

I see very little peace these days, here and abroad.  I see such deep divisions in religious and political circles.  We become more divided the more we argue, the more we try to prove our point.  We forget that classic quote from To Kill a Mockingbird:  "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 

Why can't we do this?  We are so quick to judge the opposite side, thinking it is OK, while thinking it is not OK to judge our own side.  

I get so tired of the ranting  and raving, the emotionalism behind such judgement,when people suspend all logic.  Whenever the screaming and judgement start, that is where emotions take over, and all rationality is lost.

I also get tired of the PC police.  I get tired of the feeling that if I am wronged, it is OK to take my vengeance.  If that was OK, I would have a long line of bloody victims.  I get tired of people feeling like they  are owed.  I thought that way too, for a long time.  Until I accepted the fact that I have to live with the cards I am dealt, and do what I can with them.  No one owes me.  

We want peace in the Middle East.  That is a lofty goal that I don't think will ever be fulfilled in this world.  But we can't even begin to create a peace there if we can't even create it here: in our homes, in our community, in our country.  

So that is why Jesus came.  To bring peace between God and man.  During that time that He came on earth as a baby, it was the Pax Romana, peace in Rome.  That was a joke.  "Peace" was only maintained through fear and punishment.  God's peace came through love and salvation.  In fact, Jesus means, "God saves."  

That is why when an angel appeared before someone, they first said, "Fear not."  It would be scary seeing an angel.  But the angels were messengers of peace, not fear.  Salvation, not punishment.

Let's start where we are. right here, right now.  I know I am as guilty as the next man to bring war instead of peace, but I don't like myself when I do that.  And I feel  at war with myself when I do that.  I want my words and actions to bring peace.  Oh, Lord, help me to do that.

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