This week’s Advent word: Peace.
It’s the kind of Peace Isaiah spoke about in chapter 11:
“A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots…The wolf shall live with the lamb…and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11: 1-10, selected verses)
I’ve thought about the word Peace all week. Where have I witnessed God’s Peace in this crazy, chaotic, fearful world? Where have I experienced Gods’ Peace or Peace in general this week?
Trust me, it’s been difficult to find. But it’s there, perhaps not in ways I ever expected.
Number 1: Songs In The Car – I drive a lot. To and from my parents, to and from work, to the store. Though I’ve been listening to Christmas music at home, in my car I’m a satellite radio surfer. This week peace came in being alone, singing and head-banging in my car and using my steering wheel as a drum kit (like Father, like Daughter). I bounced along to ABBA, sang that Saturday night is alright for fighting with Sir Elton and head-banged to Metallica, as well as many other pop and rock tunes. Music gives me peace, and it’s a great stress reliever.
Number 2: Quiet – I baked cookies this week. I cleaned with Christmas carols on Pandora. I enjoyed the quiet as I read at night and even as I curled up almost falling asleep. With my tree and windows lit up, my apartment, even with a few songs on the stereo, is a place of peace. It’s one of my sacred spaces and it was wonderful to have some quiet.
Number 3: First Major Snowfall – Technically it was last weekend. And I drove in it. I went and saw Santa in it. I slipped and skidded in my car and on my own 2 feet. And I’m sure tomorrow when I step outside for my full day of church, I’m sure I’ll do the same all over again. I don’t like snow. However, it’s pretty. It’s tranquil and peaceful; it’s Mother Nature and God’s Creation. It’s fluffy and white and a pain but it’s peaceful and makes the dark night seem a bit brighter as the snow reflects.
Number 4: Feeding Others – Friday night I was at Feed My Starving Children with the church youth for a holiday packing event. It was like 300 volunteers in the convention center in town and we packed almost 800 packets of food. Awesome, right? Sure. I enjoy doing those events and as my back breaks from leaning over the table, I’m reminded how fortunate to have food. However, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all, for various reasons. Yet, as I sang along to the jams they had playing, I found peace at knowing a child will be given a chance to live and to be nourished, not only by the food but also by God’s love.
Then this morning I stood in the cold to help the youth load cars of food for those in need of food this holiday. Another one of those, I don’t want to get up and stand in the cold. But oh so humbling and full of peace. There’s peace when helping others.
Number 5: Holiday Traditions – Which ranges from seeing Santa and seeing my niece tell him what she wants for Christmas, to pizza and a holiday movie while the snow falls outside. Can it get anymore peaceful than that?
I wish my moments of peace were more of the lion laying with the lamb, no more violence and all of us are happy and content. Sadly, that’s not the case. Even so, those moments of peace humbled me and allowed me to distress, even for 20 minutes.
It’s the little things in life, right?
I keep Isaiah’s words close because perhaps one day they will be more than words on a page and will actually be alive, in more than the sense of retelling the birth of Jesus story. Perhaps one day peace will be realized here and in heaven.
Where have you experienced Peace this week?