Christmas is over—at least the day marked on the calendar and the season charted by the amount of sales purchased by the masses.
But Christmas did not come for me this year–in the way I anticipated, in my fantasy of expectation, in the crooning of Nat King Cole or Andy Williams’ dream-like songs. (You can tell my age!) You know— those thoughts you have of curling up with a cup of hot chocolate, listening to Silver Bells, and being mesmerized by hundreds of lights on the tree—being content that all is right in the world. That, indeed, peace came into the world with the birth of a baby, and we can all live in that knowledge—happily ever after!
Can one find peace in a fantasy of Christmas?
An initial expectancy in the season’s advent had begun to thread its way into my feverish decorating and planning of brunches and parties—-
then came the crying in Connecticut.
Stunned, angry, hopeless–I cried. Where is the hope of Christmas, the peace for the world, the promise for children?
Pictures of lively happy children soon splashed across the screen. I saw there the faces of a little boy and a little girl who looked much like two of my grandchildren, and I cried with the mothers and grandmothers in Newtown.
The words of Matthew 2:18 had a fresh meaning –“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” (this was in reference to the time when Herod had all baby boys two years old and younger killed after Jesus’ birth)
Pain flooded the first Christmas; it avalanches around us daily—everyday.
Pain invades our peace; chaos enters our contentment, and we wonder how and why we can still hope for tomorrow. Then we remember that this Christmas gift, this baby was given the name Immanuel, which means, “God with us”.
Now— and tomorrow.
Sitting in a candle light service on Christmas Eve, listening to “silent night, holy night”-soft, gentle words—I realized that the baby born as a King did not come into a world that was all calm, quiet and peaceful. BUT—the angles knew, the heavens declared –it is heaven’s peace, the only Hope for a sad lost world that entered the world that holy night.
I breathed deeply–“all is calm” and heard his whisper, “you have seen me in the sanctuary and beheld my glory and my power” (Psalm 63:2). “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” John 14: 27
What more do I need? Dare I want more?