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December 21, 2017

The Real Message of Advent

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment, and live each moment, with peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
(“Let There Be Peace On Earth”)


At its most universal, the Christmas story is about the advent of Peace itself, coming down to earth. According to the story, Peace took the initiative, taking the form of a baby, teaching us all that it’s the humble, the meek, who indeed shall inherit the earth.


Whatever we believe religiously, I believe this story speaks to us all. Each of us carries a deep hope within us, a hope for peace, both within ourselves and among our loved ones. Most of us even hope for peace among all peoples on earth.


One way we can be led astray by the Christmas story, unfortunately, is by believing the peace we seek will be automatically provided by someone else coming into our lives, like Peace itself on Christmas Day. This is hardly the case, though.


Peace took the initiative to take an advent-ure down to earth, saying let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. It did not just give us a gift to be opened, it paved a path for us to follow. The path is narrow, however, because:
• You want your significant other to apologize first, for a change.
• You want your kids to respect you a little, without you having to show them respect first all the time.
• You want your contentious co-worker to see it from your point of view, at least once in a while.


However, the real message of Advent is this: If there is going to be peace on earth, it has to begin with me.


Here are some great versions of “Let There Be Peace On Earth” (and no, I don’t like the Vince Gill version):


1. The Boys Choir of Harlem
2. Richard Marx & Kenny Loggins
3. Harry Connick, Jr.


Peace begins with pause,



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