I recall one particular Christmas pageant that I was in as a young girl. You remember those. We used to put on bathrobes and placed towels on our heads. Magically we suddenly transformed into shepherds. White sheets and tinsel halos were the costume of choice for those of us desiring to be angels. And Mary? Well, she was always in blue, of course. Anyway, for this one particular production, I was the third angel from the right, and we memorized the entire second chapter of the book of Luke. And you know what? To this day, I can still recite almost the entire thing. (Something to be said for teaching young folks the Scriptures. It sticks!)
It’s interesting, because that’s the same passage that Linus, of the famed Peanuts gang, quotes on stage during the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (The TV classic which I still love to watch each year.)
There is one particular section of the Luke passage that continues to be one of my favorites. Especially during these confusing and difficult times. May be it bring a sense of peace to your heart and to your corner of the world today:
Luke 2:8-14 (ESV)
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
This past Sunday, churches and homes round the world lit the 1st candle of Advent. It was called the Hope Candle. If you are new to this tradition, Advent season (which begins the 4th Sunday before Christmas) is considered the Time of Anticipation. And if you aren’t sure what we are anticipating, it is the coming of the Baby Jesus. Christ coming to earth.
This coming Sunday, we will light Advent’s second candle: the Peace candle. In a world where we don’t often see eye to eye, peace is definitely one thing most of us seem to agree on and what many of us hold dear.
Peace to you.