One of U2's great songs (aren't they all!?!) is Peace on Earth.
It asks the obvious question: How can we read and sing "Peace on Earth" when so much of our news, our politics, and our lives are full of anything but peace?
If the Christ Child came to bring peace or to announce peace, where is it? Did God fail to deliver? Is God lying? Is God even there?
Something that I have learned is that the greatest gifts I've received are the gifts that I must do. For example, the greatest gift I received from my parents is how to love and be loved. This love is not something that is just given me...it fails to be what they taught if I only receive. The love they taught is a love that gives. What they gave me was giving. What they gave me was a giving of myself. The gift they gave was a gift I give.
I think the gift of the Christ Child is peace and goodwill; however, that peace isn't something that magically appears. It's not something that just happens.
The Peace of the Christ Child only happens when the birth of Jesus happens in our hearts and lives...when WE become peace and goodwill...when our lives and our selves offer peace.
Where is peace? It comes from the heart that receives the Christ Child. Do we want peace? We must live it! Do we want goodwill to all? Then we must live it!
"Heaven on earth...we need it now..."
May God be with the fathers and mothers who weep this Christmas for the sons and daughters lost to our insane violence. Amen.