Saturday, December 24, 2011

Let Peace Reign

Alice C. Linsley

As a Christian, I find myself contemplating the meaning of Christmas beyond the commercial trappings.  As an introvert, I have an aversion to crowded shopping malls, jammed parking lots, and holiday sales that attract aggressive shoppers.  I'd rather be home enjoying a roaring fire and listening to Handel's Messiah. I find the holiday rush and hustle disconcerting. Where is the peace so boldly proclaimed on greeting cards? Is there no contentment with simple things: a star-strewn winter sky, the fragrance of cedar and pine logs?

I agree with C.S. Lewis that the best policy for keeping peace on earth is to mind one's business. That being the case, I refuse to judge the extroverts who thrive in this hectic season.  They are free to pursue the fleeting glory of the season and I am free to avoid it as much as possible. 

All would agree that peace on earth is a good thing, beneficial to all except those who run guns and drugs. The "little mafias" around the world who intimidate, torture and kill will never be content with peace.  This year many children will have Christmas without their fathers because of these gangs of thugs.  In many places the "officers of the peace" are bought servants.  None will press charges because they know they will be killed. 

To proclaim "peace on earth" in such a world seems futile.  There is no peace.  There is no agreement on what peace looks like.  Yet as a Christian, I assert that Christmas is still one of the best holidays for those who seek peace.  And as to how it looks, consider the Infant Christ, undisturbed in the arms of His pure and holy Mother.  Contemplate this image well.  He comes meek and lowly, the very icon of divine peace offered to the world.  Receive Him and you receive peace on earth.

Related reading:  Christians are Christmas People

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