The second week of Advent is coming to a close. The coming of peace.
It’s 12:55am on a Saturday morning. I’m sitting alone in my favorite chair, wrapped in my favorite blanket. The house is quiet. Peaceful. I’ve found myself in this exact spot every night this week.
The words are here. In my head. All clamoring for a place on the pages before me.
But there’s nothing peaceful about them.
This time of the year feels frantic. Rushing here and there, buying Christmas for 5 kids. The boys, far past the age for toys, making it much more difficult (and expensive) to fulfill wishes sent via text-message! The only girl, all of 9 going on 19, gives a hand-written list with not a toy to be found on it! Where did my little girl go so quickly?
The older I become, the passage of time and seasons is anything but peaceful. I find myself growing weary.
My twitter friend Benjamin expressed my feelings much more eloquently than I ever could in his last post, Advent is for the Magnificat. “I am trying so hard to hear the good news, but Christmas drags in Christians and my baggage is heavy and it is all way too loud. It is a season where, at once, I can feel myself perched adoringly over the precious Christ Child, and then, abruptly, pulled away.” Oh my, yes. All of the feelings here.
Pulled away by the rants of those proclaiming Christ. The Christ who is Hope. The Christ who is Peace.
- The President is Muslim. Surely he will be the downfall of America.
- They’re taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer out of our schools.
- The call to boycott businesses that were open on Thanksgiving because consumerism is evil and we should be spending our time thanking God for our blessings.
- Making sure we all know that The Piano Guys version of “Angels We Have Heard on High” is a ploy to convert us all to Mormonism. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s fabulous!)
- All the nonsense about how we need to greet people with Merry Christmas. As if somehow, by saying Happy Holidays, we are taking Christ out of Christmas.
As if we can take Christ out of anything.
All the judgment, the condemnation, the legalism. Ugh! Maybe if we spent as much time in prayer as we do complaining about everything, we would live in a very different world. Maybe not externally, but at least our hearts and our attitudes would be different. Maybe our time and energy could be spent really making a difference in our communities. In the lives of those who need to experience a little peace this season.
Yes, I too am weary and longing for peace. The peace that comes when we find ourselves part of true, transparent community. To be loved and accepted because of who we are. Where the messiness of our lives is not something that’s overlooked but embraced. A place where beauty is looked for, not in spite of, but because of, all of our messiness.
And Peace did come.
He came into the messiest of places. Humanity. Born in the messiest of places. A stable. At first glance, all you would notice is the messiness and chaos of a full stable. The stench alone would keep you from looking too closely. But hope can always be found. Hope in the beauty of new life. Peace can always be found. Peace in the innocence of the babe sleeping in the manger. The Father’s ultimate fulfillment of peace.
We need only stop long enough to truly see…