Peace

Peace is part of the theme of Christmas.  Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. The angels sang “peace on earth”. 
 
To whom the “peace on earth” is given seems to be debatable in some translations.  Is it “peace on earth good will to men” as in all people?  Or is it “peace on earth among those whom he favors” meaning that for some people God wills peace and for others he does not? 
 
My understanding of peace requires that it applies to all people or none.  Can anyone really have peace when some are rejected?  Can you feel peace in our heart when you see your neighbor suffering? 
 
I can find respite from the world for a time by shutting my door and finding a comfortable place inside.  But that is not the kind of heavenly, universal peace that would cause a host of angels to sing.  That is momentary rest, not celestial peace.
 
Part of the advent longing in preparation for Christmas is a desire for a just peace that encompasses all people.  Like hope, it is not yet fully given.  Jesus talks about giving us peace, not as the world gives.  That internal peace, however, is only a part of the peace on earth of Christmas.  Peace on earth may not be given at all.  It is something for which we must strive.  Start with the peace inside ourselves and the faith that God desires it for all.  Then we can live into “peace on earth, good will to men” more and more.

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