Peace from Peace

*a disclaimer: when writing on matters of faith, it is important for me to not infringe on the beliefs or thoughts of others. so if you are of a different faith or frame of mind, please do not take offense. and if gain something, all the better. i don’t pretend to be one that knows. but i do watch*

Advent
the waiting for Christmas
remember when we had the little calendars
and opened a paper door for each day
in anticipation
for getting the best toys
the newest and brightest
in the Sears catalog
we were allowed one toy each Christmas
and sometimes did not get the hoped for
the wished-for
it was either too expensive
or grandmother decided it was not
a good kind of toy to have
and of course we received a lot of socks
a lot of clothes…
i don’t recall looking forward to that much

but Advent is a different sort of “looking forward”
we light a new candle each week
in anticipation of the best gift of all…
Peace on Earth, Good Will to Man
the gift of Jesus
the birth of a new philosophy
a philosophy of kindness
sometimes the results are not what we hope-for
the peace we want is too expensive
or the kindness and love we want to give
is appreciated about as much as a pair of socks…

but that philosophy
that idea of peace, and good will to man
that lives on
because somebody took a stand

Jesus took a stand

and we are celebrating his birth
but it’s really the birth of ourselves
the birth of a movement
birth of a new and better kind of people
or at least, we hope so…

do unto others as you would have them do unto you
that doesn’t mean give something so that you can get something
that doesn’t mean put money in the offering plate
because riches and money will then come back to you
doesn’t work that way

a gift is not a gift
unless there are no strings attached
no necessity of reciprocation

and the gift of Jesus is just that
no strings attached

Advent is a time of looking forward
but we also look back
back to the beginning of a new type of people
a new philosophy
one that involves love and understanding
not the consumption within ourselves

the beauty of this gift, that Jesus gave to us
is that peace on Earth grows from peace

see, as a child
i didn’t appreciate clothes, socks very much
the little tubes of toothpaste i got in my Christmas stocking
but i look back at that
and what i remember the most
is how loved and cared-for i was

our hopes for peace on earth might seem very distant sometimes
like with the shooting in california this past week
we form a type of collective despair
we mourn for those killed, but we also mourn for the spirit of the shooters
we mourn for the loss of understanding

yet a part of that understanding
is knowing that the gift
the gift that Jesus gave is very real

peace grows from peace

and peace on earth IS possible
just have to want it enough
though sometimes it might seem like
those undesired clothes and socks under the Christmas tree

Advent appears to be circular…a circular thing
and here we are back again
lighting the same candles
saying the same prayers

but it’s not
it’s not circular
each day is a new day
each season a new season belonging to itself
and we don’t know what the future is going to bring…
how can we know?

but we can know what we ourselves are going to give…
that part of ourselves dedicated to love and peace

it—IS—possible
to create a world of more peace
and it’s possible because we already have done so
in so many ways

even though that work seems to be never finished
never completed
that doesn’t mean we lose heart
because we’ll get there eventually
it’s closer than you think
and Peace on Earth, Good Will to Man
is a real thing
a very real gift that God has given to all of mankind

Peace grows from Peace

the gift Jesus gave to us is already wrapped
it’s wrapped and under the tree

a way of life
a way of kindness

and that is what we celebrate
on this Advent season

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