For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Gertrude would end her nightly bedtime prayer with these words, “…may there be peace when I wake up tomorrow.” She had been thinking about the peace of God that passes all understanding, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. She was certain that someday she would wake up and there would be peace. Her life had been filled with electroshock treatments, medications, institutionalization, and untold other attempts to make her a “regular” person. Gert was well educated and extremely intelligent, however her mind was always full of stuff that perplexed her and brought extreme dis-ease. Peace to Gertrude was freedom from all of that.
On this Christmas Eve, what would be Peace to you?
Can we think that peace is the ongoing fulfillment of God’s promises that bring about justice and righteousness on a cosmic level, and give people (all creation) the permission to hope? That hope is ours and this quieting peace allows the cynical, untrusting, downtrodden, sick, feeble, lonely, afraid, oppressed, homeless, refugee, or any of us to raise our heads and sing Glory to God on High. Then we can pray…may there be peace when I wake tomorrow.
(Bishop Rodger Prois)