Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Advent: Peace on Earth
Peace is kind of a funny word. Despite thousands of years of deep meaning and significance, when I hear the word "Peace" today, I think of Birkenstocks, long hair, VW buses, and the corner of Haight/Ashbury.
It's one of those words that is used at Christmastime a lot, on flowery cards, cute little knicknacks, and in carols. I'm not sure, though, that I've ever stopped to think about the relationship between Christmas and Peace.
To be honest, Christmas is one of the last peaceful times of the year. Most people are stressed out, overbooked, overfed, overspent, and at war with at least one family member as they rush from obligation to obligation. I am definitely no exception. Christmas has always been about cramming as many family members into a 24hr period as LA freeways would allow, and as much as I love it all, I generally end up in a ball on the floor crying at some point in the festivities.
One of my goals this year is to be more intentional about eliminating stress and adding Peace to Christmas. I am going against every fiber in my body and not hosting a Christmas party. Instead, the plan (we'll see how it goes) is to bake cookies for the neighbors, and go door to door meeting them. The idea behind that is I still get to do the baking & Christmas cheering that I love, without the pressure of having a clean house, cute dress, 12 hors d'oeuvres & desserts and zero meaningful conversations while playing hostess. Plus, we get to meet & love on our neighbors. We're also having more friends over for dinner/brunch in casual settings to spend a little more quality time.
We'll see if any of these plans accomplish my goals. Really, those are more structural tweaks than deep heart-level peace. My hope this week is to meditate more on how Jesus' birth invites peace into my real, everyday life. Because I can cut out & rearrange my Holiday plans as much as I want, but I'm not going to find what I'm looking for without that. And I guess that's the whole point.
Wish me luck (and Good Luck to you, too) ;)