Monday, December 20, 2010

Peace on Earth

Women of Faith:
“Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men” & “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

In these last few days of Advent, in the preparations before Christmas, I continue to pray that I will remember these two verses.

First, that Jesus is the Reason: I hear it, I see it, but will my head let my heart rest long enough to believe it and live it; to remember that Christmas is about only ONE gift—a little baby, who wanted nothing more from us than for us to follow Him, and to be like Him. And who continues to want this from us: silence, peace, humility, and charity.

And the second: that “Peace on Earth”, comes from “Goodwill toward Men.” I liked Father’s comparison yesterday: we do not find Christ at a “fancy” hotel—we find Him with the animals in the stable at the inn.

We find Him with the “lowly” and the downtrodden taking care of people, giving to people, and serving people. We do not find Him at glitzy holiday parties where every decoration, every food, every person is “perfect.” These “perfect” things are man made, not God made; they draw are attention away from Jesus, the reason for the season; and ultimately, at the end, we are called to be “perfect” by God, not by man.

There is nothing coincidental about who has become Saints, why Mary is called Blessed and which people God will select to be with Him in heaven. These are the people who answered His call, who died as martyrs and who lived a life of service for Him. They should be our role models.

In our roles in marriage (Ephesians 5: 21-33), wives are called to honor Jesus by honoring and serving their husbands. And our husbands are called to live a life of service to Jesus by being our protectors and providers, by being willing to die for their wives, as Christ died for us on the cross. In affect then, we are ALL called to give up our own needs, and to serve each other with love and to respect ALL life.

God has given us a “perfect” example of how we are to live by the life Jesus led on earth. That is why He is the Reason, why His life was written down for us to follow in the Bible, why His life was completely self giving as He died on the cross, not to save Himself, but to save US!

Jesus served God, not with glitz and presents, but with the gift of Himself. He is our example of love and respect, the same love and respect we are called to give our spouses, our extended families and our world.

Ultimately this is where PEACE will come from. Peace needs to start with changing our own life by taking a quiet moment to listen to God in the silence of our hearts, and by becoming as humble as the adoring animals who followed their shepherd to find Jesus the Shepherd at the stable.

Peace is not about shopping, cookies and candies, gifts under the tree or who can out do their neighbors with lights. Peace is found in a little baby, in the smallest of rooms, and in the light of a star that guided us to the baby Jesus. That is why HE is the Reason for the Season.

Dear God, Praise be the Reason for the Season, Your Son, Our Shepherd, Jesus. Thank you for His Gift of Love and Service. Help me to live my life more like He lived His. And guide me to find Peace on Earth by spreading goodwill to all, but especially to Stan, my family, and to those who read this prayer, my friends. Amen.

May you have Peace this Christmas!



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