by Eleanor Nurney
Peace. How often we hear that beautiful word, especially this time of year. When the Israelites heard this message they were experiencing nothing close to “peace.” In
fact, they were experiencing one of the darkest moments in the history of Israel. They had been removed from their homes and were being held in captivity by the Babylonians. Amid this state of turmoil a messenger brings good news of peace and salvation. God is there to comfort them.
The Israelites were given a message that after everything they had been through, and after all they had done to disappoint God, God’s love remained constant. Such is our relationship with God. Our actions have consequences and our lives bring ups and downs. We wonder why bad things happen and people suffer. And then, we too receive the message that has been constant through the ages, the message that was delivered to the Israelites during their captivity and redelivered in a humble manger. It is the message that abides in each of us through the love of God.
This message of peace is not a promise of an end to war or an end to suffering. This message of peace is one that comes from the comfort in knowing that despite the hardships that come with life and despite our imperfections, we are loved. This peace enables us to keep living, and is the foundation that enables us to become the messenger. May you find peace this Christmas season and always.