After a bad day, a nine year-old boy decided to leave home. Before he struck off down the road he wrote a sad little letter on a ragged scrap of paper. He asked that someone take care of his beloved hamster, George. Rambling around the paper’s edge, squeezed onto the last bit of space, he scribbled:
P.S. whatever happened to joy and peace?
Today, millions ask the same question. With terror, strife and war shrouding the world in darkness, it’s hard to think of celebrating Christmas.
When Jesus, the Son of God, entered the world as a baby, on that night long ago, He came into a world of darkness, a world thundering with war, racism, injustice and sickness. In spite of the political climate of that day, the angels who spoke to the shepherds said –
Don’t be afraid. I bring you news of joy for everyone
Then music filled the night air as angels sang the first Christmas carol –
Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace among men.
Like this nine year-old boy, do you wonder what has happened to joy and peace?
That night, our little boy laid his contented head on his pillow, his hamster George asleep in a cage nearby. With a little kindness from us restored joy and peace to him. Temporary peace, like the peace our son experienced that night, can be restored by love and happy circumstances.
But there’s another kind of peace, the kind that permeates the worst of circumstances. No matter how dense spiritual darkness becomes, or how madly the world thrashes, the peace the angels sang about on the night the Messiah came to earth can’t be destroyed.
There’s a Christian practice that warms my heart. One hugs another and whispers – “Peace of Christ.”