Christmas Garfield

The Peace of Christ

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

A state of tranquility or serenity, freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, or an obsession. The lack of war. Silence, stillness.

All of these are definitions of peace. Peace of mind seems most relevant to the modern North American. We all talk about how it would be nice if Christmas wasn't so busy, but few of us make the choice to rest. Resting, being at peace, is often a choice that one must make. Sometimes that choice is made at a cost. But science and God are both on our side when it comes to the value of rest. Dozens of scientific studies have been done to prove the value of sleep, laughter, and relaxation. Yet we ignore these warnings.

Every so often a saying comes to my mind, a saying I'd heard before I met my future mother-in-law, but one I hear more often now as my fiance repeats it often - we are human beings, not human doings. It's easy to forget this at Christmas especially. Christmas is a season for others in a lot of ways. It's hard to remember that to take time for others we must ourselves be ready. And readiness, in the context of Christmas, constitutes rest.

Today I am about to go back to bed and take a nap. I'm taking it easy. Sure, there's things I could do, things I will need to do later, but in this week of Advent, the most hectic week of the year for many, I am exploring the concept of peace - not only for myself, but in so many contexts.

Peace, mental and societal, must be fought for. Peace does not arrive without the conflicts of the human soul being laid bare. At some point, some people lose the choice to embrace societal peace, and that is a tragedy indeed. But most peace, even supernatural peace beyond our understanding, must be decided on to be experienced, it must be sought after. Peace must always be sought after.

And so today, for those who live without it, I pray peace would descend on them, that they would have the choice to take it. I pray for those enslaved and warring and poor and starving that peace would come to them through the mercy of our God. I pray that the tormented would find solace. I pray that I might take my place among those who helped make peace a choice for someone, somewhere.

May the peace of Christmas be in your lives today and all year round. Merry Christmas.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep...

And I celebrate the day
That you were born to die
So I could one day
Pray for you to save my life
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