I have been wondering about these words from the herald angels that night to the shepherds. I want some. Everyone wants peace on earth. I think I’ve hunted most diligently this past year for my bit of peace on earth. I want to be “at peace” with all my people. I like “peace and quiet” at home in our little cottage here in the woods. I want to feel peaceful in my head and heart. So this pronouncement by the angels is for me and you and the whole world.
A peaceful setting for me I suppose is different from yours. A few weeks ago in Sunday School the suggestion came up that we may in the midst of a noisy, ambitious, or disturbing situation go to our place of peace in our minds by way of visualization. I didn’t say so at the time, but I have my doubts about that being the most productive way of being at peace. It might help calm the mind and body a bit but isn’t there a more substantial, lasting way to gain peace in the midst of storm?
What really is peace? Is it a deep bath with music and candles and privacy? Is it white noise to drown out racket so that one can sleep? Is it the absence of noise or battle? Is it a settled conscience? Or maybe it is a winter scene of silent, falling snow in the woods. (By the way, falling snow is not silent, though it is peaceful.) It could be the coffee time quiet in the morning before the world stirs and calls and demands. What was it the angel meant?
So this Thanksgiving and Christmas time I am thinking about that and keeping my ears and eyes and heart open for just what that could mean for me in the coming year. At any rate, I believe that peace is to be treasured and lived amidst all that threatens it: disaster, wars, and rumors. Jesus said so. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled. So where will you be searching for peace?
I do look forward to a walk in the woods through the snow one of these days to listen to the falling snow. That’s pretty and peaceful. Worship time.
This fat nuthatch usually swoops in noisily and grabs his portion and leaves with the feeder swinging. Today he landed here on the stone by the feeder and sat still looking around and watching me for a long moment. I think he must have been listening to the snowfall.