Wednesday, December 9, 2009


There seems to be a lot of flurry (again!) about what greeting is 'correct' at this time of year. Some Christians are (again!) up in arms trying to make sure people are saying 'Merry Christmas', not 'Happy Holidays', or 'Season's Greetings' or 'Will that be on your credit card?'

I figure a great compromise is 'Peace on earth'.
It's Biblical.
It is the wish of Christians and non-Christians alike.
In fact, even war-mongers and peace-mongers would both likely rather have peace (I hope!).
Plus the fact that this is the original greeting used about the birth of Jesus, long before today's consumer-driven extravaganza came into existence.
Double plus the concept that the coming of Christ was to bring peace between God and His creation. To reinstate the relationship He intended all along.

Fighting over what greeting you use isn't exactly promoting peace.
Fighting over who has to host the family get-together isn't promoting peace.
Trying to talk your parents into going into even greater debt than usual in order to buy you the latest _______ isn't promoting peace in your family.
In fact, there's a lot about our typical celebration of Christmas that isn't very peaceable.

How can we change that?
How about choosing to do something as a family that will help someone less fortunate—drill a well in Africa, sponsor a child in Thailand, bring Christmas dinner to a family in need in your own neighborhood?
Research the involvement of your nation in a war on foreign soil. Honestly figure out if it is something you want to support or not. And then let your elected representatives know how you feel. (You might think the fact that I am including this idea in a post about 'peace' reveals a bit of my personal bias on this—Who knows? But even if you feel it is right to support a war in Afghanistan, for example, consider it in the light of how to ultimately promote 'peace on earth'.)

Think closer to home. Think of an issue that raises lots of public conflict in your city. Think of ways to promote peace, resolution, agreement.
Get really close to home. Work to bring peace into your relationships. Estranged family members, ex-spouses or other sticky situations. You may only be able to choose to not fight anymore, but removing one of the combatants usually cools down the war considerably.

Maybe the situation you face (personally, civically, nationally) is one that you feel requires more passion, not less. Maybe it is right that you should stand up and be counted. Maybe being peaceable is the last thing you should do. Maybe you need to get down and dirty and join a peace march. Or a march against some other social ill that really stirs you up. Or pick a fight with city hall.
Guess what. Jesus did that too. The Prince of Peace really stirred things up in the temple.
I think you can probably figure out how you can be a 'person of peace' and yet be an activist if that is appropriate.
Peace needs to go hand in hand with love and justice. They really aren't mutually exclusive. They are all segments of an integrated life.

1 comment:

Luke said...

yeah! yeah! yeah!

preach it brother-man!


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