by Lilly Lewin
I love that the season of Christmas really starts on December 25th and runs til Epiphany on January 6th when we celebrate the Light coming to the Gentiles and the arrival of the Magi. It gives us all extra time to consider this Light, the Prince of Peace who comes for all the world.
How are you receiving the Light so far this Christmas? If you are like me, you are still in recovery mode from family festivities and you need more space to reflect on Jesus and all the Incarnation actually means for yourself and our planet.
How are you receiving the Prince of Peace? How do you need to receive Him? Pause. Consider how you can receive his peace today.
Take a few minutes to breathe in the peace of Jesus before you read on. Picture Jesus placing a blanket of peace and protection on your shoulders, surrounding you in his love. What color is the blanket? What’s the texture like? How does this blanket make you feel? Breathe in his peace, breathe out any stress or fear you may be carrying in your body. This may take several deep breaths and several minutes to actually sink in. Receive the Prince of Peace.
What does it look like to bring Light and Peace to our broken world today?
Do you know what it really means to be a peacemaker in your neighborhood, in your city, your family, etc?
I know that Jesus says that peacemakers are blessed, but I’m not sure I really know how to live this out well in my everyday world. One of the people who is teaching me more about peacemaking and bringing peace to our world is Jon Huckins. Jon is the co-founder of the Global Immersion project. The mission of Global Immersion Project “is training people of faith to engage our divided world in restorative ways.” Jon lives in San Diego and crosses the border on a regular basis. He has built friendships with Border Agents, refugees and the people on the ground working in Mexico and the States. Jon leads teams to the border to learn more and listen to real people, to see and hear their stories, not just the sound bites on the news.
Today Jon posted this on facebook:
“As we celebrate the birth of a deliverer born in Bethlehem (Palestine) under the weight of violent occupation, I am grateful for my dear Palestinian friends who show us what peace looks like as they follow Jesus under occupation in Bethlehem today. We see you and, in you, we see Jesus.
As we celebrate the selfless courage of a mother, Mary, fleeing violence while seeking safety, hope and welcome, I am grateful for immigrant friends who teach me to trust in the liberating power of Jesus in ways I can hardly imagine. We see you and, in you, we see Jesus.
The Jesus story didn’t just happen. It is happening. It isn’t only a passive celebration of the past, it is an active participation in God’s (and our) future.
May we have the eyes to see Jesus born in and around us everyday. May our seeing disrupt our assumptions of who is “in” and who is “out,” uncover our false allegiances to any kingdom other than God’s and liberate us to live like the Jesus we talk about.”
That’s my prayer this Christmas and the New Year ahead. To have the eyes to see Jesus born in and around me everyday! I want to see Jesus in the people and places I go in my neighborhood. I want to have eyes to see and ears to hear what Jesus hears and see what Jesus sees, not be blind, and not just see what my bias and privilege sees.
I want to BE a peacemaker not just wish for peace! and I want live in the reality that everyone is welcome at the manger!
If you want to learn more about peacemaking, check out Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World by Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart
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