Their old familiar carols play;
In music sweet their tones repeat,
“There’s peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep,
For Christ is here; His Spirit near
Brings peace on earth, good will to men.”
-Henry W. Longfellow –
The journey to the manger in the school Christmas program can be anything but peaceful. Do soloists know their parts? Where are those props? How do you set up those risers again? Do we have enough programs? It’s not hard to end up in a spot where singing “peace on earth” feels like a living contradiction to what we feel. Perhaps that is because of the tyranny of the urgent that can consume us. Or, perhaps because we watch the “nations raging together” (Psalm 2:1) and our doubtful hearts worry that dark skies and dark hearts are winning the day.
Christmas events, like those of this week at LCES, remind us that our faith is characterized not only by the “Amazing Grace” we sing of often, but also “Amazing Peace.” Though they may be fleeting, the moments in our lives where we experienced that peace are worth pausing for. Quiet snow falling, a sleeping infant, a musical moment of awe and reflection, or the hum of the road in a darkened car returning from a family outing - these all are a foretaste of the “perfect peace” that will one day characterize every day, every place, for every one of God’s children. We experienced one of those moments as a school family this morning with Jeremy Zeyl sharing “O Holy Night” to a gym full of students who felt that tangible peace for a moment. Perhaps, peace is something you feel more than you understand.
May God grant us moments of that “peace that transcends understanding” as we tell the most amazing story: God took on flesh and became one of us. Now that is a source of amazing peace!