The Second Week of Advent
The nations shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
It’s the week of Pearl Harbor Day…
It’s the week after the San Bernadino Massacre…
It’s the day/week/month before some other “attack” will shock, numb, and scare us.
And in the Season of Advent, it’s the week that PEACE is the theme.
In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987,
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez pondered peace:
“Peace is not a matter of prizes or trophies. It is not the product of a victory or command.
It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement.
Peace is a never-ending process,
the work of many decisions by many people in many countries.
It is an attitude, a way of life, a way of solving problems and resolving conflicts.
It cannot be forced on the smallest nation or enforced by the largest.
It cannot ignore our differences or overlook our common interests.
It requires us to work and live together….
Peace consists, very largely, in the fact of desiring it with all one’s soul.”
In this Advent Season, let us all pray for peace.
Let us demonstrate peace in the ways we deal with each other.
Let us work for peace among those who are being torn apart with turmoil.
Let us remember that we have been called to follow the One born in Bethlehem
who is known as the “Prince of Peace”
and in all our dealings with frustrated salesclerks and restaurant servers,
elbowing shoppers and road-hog drivers,
with Santa-anxious children and schedule-anxious adults,
let “peace begin with me”
as my soul’s desire.
As we are each at peace this holy season,
may the world glimpse the peace we might all celebrate.