Rejoice at the Coming of Peace

If there is one word that describes Advent and Christmas, it would be peace. We use that word often in December. Of course, then we file it away with the Christmas decorations until next December.

I have two foundational principles–peace and justice. These guide my political decisions and theological reflections. If Christmas is peace, Easter must be justice.

Thanks to ever present news and efficient news gathering, we are constantly presented with violence events everywhere in the world. We could easily think that the world is “going to hell in a hand basket.” It is depressing. Just picking up my phone with the latest iOS operating system, the screen lights up and I see notifications. Guy was shot in Milan. Someone was shot somewhere else.

Did Jesus really usher in an era of peace? Would his birth have made it on CNN? A breathless Wolf Blitzer, “Here I am live in Bethlehem…” OK, probably not. As they say in the news business, if it bleeds it leads.

If you can cleanse your mind for a bit of all those news pieces, you can see that the world really is getting better over the centuries. Overall we live better. We recognize peace and justice more than ever.

However, like the author William Gibson observed, “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.”

Pause and reflect over the big picture. Jesus’ birth leads to death and then resurrection. But that’s not all. It all points to the New Heaven and New Earth. The New Jerusalem. Jesuit priest and philosopher Pierre Teilhard (one of my favorites) called it the Omega Point.

Augustus Caesar called himself the Prince of Peace. He didn’t last long. Jesus was called the Prince of Peace and he guides us toward peace still some 2,000 years later.

Merry Christmas, and Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward all humans.

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