December 2012:Christmas Approaches: will it be peaceful?

We are in the season of Advent, beloved of children in countries where Christianity has had a strong influence, and when many older Christians reflect on the coming of the Christ. We look back to Jesus' birth, his first coming, and remember how longed-for it was at the time; and we look forward to his sudden return, at a date and time unknown even to him. It is a season of preparation in so many ways.

We often talk and sing about peace and goodwill at Christmas time. It's not that we shouldn't mention it at other times, but it comes up particularly at Christmas. We can choose to experience peace and goodwill this Christmas, no matter what our circumstances, if we are willing to be active, instead of passive. That is, if we ourselves act peacefully and with goodwill, some of it will reflect back onto us; and we will be making somebody else's Christmas more enjoyable as well.

It doesn't sound too hard, does it? And yet to do this consistently requires us to change ingrained habits of judging others and of selfishness, which is certainly not easy. To observe ourselves, and notice how often we hurt others by word or action, is not something we enjoy. Yet peace on Earth begins with each one of us, and goodwill to all men and women must start at home.

This Christmas, let us all deliberately choose to bring peace into being, and to show goodwill to all whom we meet - as we remember the One whose birth gives rise to the whole event.

Parkdale Church of Christ 2012-18 —A community of faith, hope and compassion.