“He shall command peace to the nations.” Zechariah 9:10
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” Luke 2:14
“All is Calm” is a profound telling of the one-night, unsanctioned truce between British and German soldiers on Christmas Eve, 1914. They spent the day shooting at each other. Then, for a few hours, they realized their humanity – family men, lovers, friends. They played, sang, shared photos and cigarettes. The next day the deadly obligations of war resumed. They must shoot.
On Christmas Eve we too, will sing “All is calm” … “Sleep in Heavenly Peace”. Sunday mornings we share the peace of God with our pew-mates. Then what … the new year, the following week? We’re ready, aimed, ready to fire. If not with guns with words and actions – impatient, unkind and meant to hurt. This is not peace. It doesn’t seem to be part of human nature to “beat their swords into plowshares”. After all these years, Old Testament prophets would scratch their heads and ask “How long?”. Yes, a nation has invaded another country. No, this is surely not peace. But lack of peace is more subtle right here in our everyday corner of the world. We still fume on freeways; wait lividly in lines; seethe over supper. Living with anger and refusing to, or unable to, forgive is not peace.
I don’t believe we were born to live with judgment, resentment and fighting. If God gave us life, we are born to God’s way of life … compassion for those in need, kindness toward those we deem less worthy, peaceful relationships – with God’s help. The Prince of Peace was born not just for me, but for all.
Prince of Peace, Help us live the peace of Sunday morning, the good will of Christmas Eve/Day every day. Keep our hearts and minds rooted, growing in you. Amen