Advent Prepares People with Peace

Sunday, December 22, 2013

We long for those Hallmark card, picture perfect Christmases, don’t we? The cards are marked by beauty and peace! And our longing for such a perfect Christmas is reinforced culturally at every turn. “There is a lot of talk today about what makes Christmas. Newspaper and television advertisements coax people into believing that they can have a real Christmas by going to a festive shopping center, eating at trendy restaurants, or watching glittering "Christmas programs" on television. Others believe that Christmas is made by the fastidious keeping of time-honored family rituals, such as sentimental ornaments on just the right tree, eating food from a menu which has been handed down from generation to generation, or by visiting the same relatives at precisely the same time on Christmas Day. Some believe that Christmas is made by purchasing a uniquely special gift for every relative, friend, and acquaintance. To be sure, all of these contribute to our cultural understanding of Christmas.” Bishop Joe Pennell has written. But our Christmases often fail to live up to the Hallmark special! (Full text PDF here.)