Moments of peace this Christmas
Christmas is supposed to be a time of love, joy, hope and peace. The sadness and suffering we see on the news, the ongoing pandemic, the hustle, and bustle of finding the “perfect gifts” and preparing the “perfect meal” can obscure our ability to experience that. I invite you this year, to find a few minutes of quiet. A few minutes to allow yourself to reflect on the gift the world was given on Christmas—the one perfect gift. A few minutes away from the news, the shopping, the cooking, the gift wrapping. A few minutes to remember the love, hope, and peace that entered the world on Christmas and remains with us through the ups and downs of life. I share with you the words of Edward Hays in his prayer “A Christmas Psalm”. As you read them, may they draw you into a place of quiet, of peace, and love.
A Christmas Psalm
O Blessed One,
It is said that Christmas is for children.
Indeed, I agree:
It’s only a feast for the young of heart.
a feast for finding beneath the tree
gifts to surprise and delight the eternal child.
Peel back the scabs of cynicism from my eyes
so that this calloused and aging child
may see every tree as a Christmas tree.
Let me not be ashamed to dance with delight
at hidden gifts wrapped in shimmering paper
with bows of rainbow-colored ribbon.
But also grant me the youthful and wide-eyed wonder
to recognize, and even to expect,
life-giving miracles on every street corner,
miracles of kindness and generosity and care.
Gift my all-too calculating heart
with the excitement of anticipation
to truly receive the gifts of life,
the capacity to feast and rejoice.
Give birth within me to a spaciousness of heart
that can celebrate this feast
of the birth of Christ, the Child.
As the demands of life pull you back into the reality of our world, may the words of Henri Nouwan give you comfort and hope.
“This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.”
May the blessings of peace and love from heaven that became known to us on earth through the birth of the Christ Child continue to be a source of joy, hope, and strength for you during this Christmas season and throughout the year ahead.