Seasonal Reflection:  Christmas, 2019

Reflecting on Peace

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

We live in dark times. We long for the light, but do we see it? I recently read a reflection that observed that Christmas is a time which some people, especially children, see as a time of great joy and excitement—we could say a time of bright light literally and figuratively—and others, especially adults, see as a time of great challenge.

I admit I’m very much an adult in this dichotomy. I find Christmas a challenge in many ways. Because we live in such dark times, I find it a challenge to get into the holiday spirit. Between the news and e-mails I get in the tens and sometimes hundreds a day between work and home, I am inundated with messages of violence and injustices galore. It is a challenge to be hopeful. It is a challenge to believe in the promises of the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace. It is also a challenge to accept the call to be a follower of that Christ Child, the Prince of Peace. He models for us love of enemy, forgiveness not seven times but seventy times seven times, total trust in God, a willingness to suffer. None of that comes easy.

Then there are the more benign challenges, like finding the respectful way to respond to family and friends who may serve products you boycott or dispose of refuse you recycle or express derogatory opinions about groups of people you know and respect. Are these opportunities to raise awareness and consciousness or times to compromise on your values and say nothing? 

Christmas can also be a challenge because of memories of loved ones no longer here, feelings of loneliness or abandonment.

Where is that great light? How do we pull away the curtain of pain and sorrow to let it in? How do we stop asking, “How long, O God, before the darkness ceases?” and see the light that is already here?

This day that I’m writing this reflection a friend sent me a link to a website that I posted on social media. It’s titled 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn't Hear About in 2019, and it’s wonderful! Here’s the link for you to visit: https://futurecrun.ch/99-good-news-2019?fbclid=IwAR0GQuvFKHeOIZVre-LzMrvowOJUQ97-soADJMKktUA3dyOvyk0JJ3F9104. This article offers a fair amount of light in the darkness. It is a gift, one might say a Christmas gift. Good things are happening. There really is Good News. We may have to seek it out, but it is there.

And so the Christmas story continues. We people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. The ultimate challenge is ours to keep it lit.

 



Prayer

Christmas 2019




Suggested Actions

  • - Are you a person who finds it easy to get into the joyful Christmas spirit? If so, enjoy! But don’t forget those who struggle through the holiday season. Lend an ear to listen or a shoulder on which to lean. Share a Christmas treat. Offer to add a little decoration to perk up a somber home. Extend an invitation. Present a gift.

  • - Are you a person who finds it hard to see the light of Christmas? If so, seek out the light of others—a child, a neighbor, a puppy, or whatever brings you some happy distraction. Check out the decorations at church or around your block. Treat yourself to a good book or a good movie. Forget the diet for a day and feast on something you love to eat. Take a break from the news and the computer; the challenges will still be there tomorrow.

    Whichever type of person you are, remember to be the light for others. Commit to stand up and speak out for those in need, to stand up and speak against the things that create need. Maybe this will be your New Year’s resolution and not your Christmas activity, but keep the season alive beyond one day. As you emanate light, you can’t but experience the light yourself.

  • And don't forget to join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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