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The gift of peace

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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace* among those with whom He is pleased!” Luke 2:13-14.

Peace also Shalom, Salam, Eirene, Frieden, Fred, Mir, Pax, Paz, Pace, Paix, Paco, Heping, Heiwa, Pyeonghwa means “freedom from disturbance, or the cessation of war and violence; quiet, calm and tranquil.”

‘Tis the season to be’ ... joyful, thankful, blessed, hopeful, peaceful. But too often it feels nothing like those things. The angelic message of the Christmas story was glad tidings and hopeful peace to all, for all—to all nations, peoples, in every language and culture. In this kinetic, anxious world, we are invited to receive a gift that is better than any ever placed under an evergreen tree. This season is about the birth of a child called by sages of old “the Prince of Peace,” but it’s not only about a birth, it’s about the beginning of a divine story—a plan—unfolding from before the foundation of the world.

Peace with God, in our world, in our country, in our communities, in our commands and units, in our families, is a great gift, and not the kind of gift to be returned during the post-holiday-shopping season. This is the gift we keep near and dear. We hold it tightly as God holds us. That truth promises to give us peace, the peace which passes understanding.

So to all: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year—and peace be with you.