From the piped in music at the mall to the sounds coming through the doors of places of worship around the world, the messages of the season are clearly heard. Joyous songs of faith, lilting lyrics with a holiday flair and the ubiquitous accolades to Santa and his reindeer all collide in a tumultuous, sometimes raucous, announcement that, once again, its time to celebrate.
But celebrate what?
Amid the visits with family and friends, the buying of gifts, the feasting, the holiday parties and a few days of well earned rest, is there more? What about that one commonly used phrase “……peace on earth and good will to men…..” Is there something more of the season in those words?
A small sign in the window of a seldom visited business had something to say about peace. “If you want peace,” the words announced, “then work for justice.”
Is “peace on earth” tied to a cry for justice that can barely be heard with all those competing sounds of the season filling the air? And is it just possible that the birth of a baby hailed by hundreds of millions around the world as the “Prince of Peace” in reality is an announcement that there will be no peace unless justice forces its presence into the consciousness of humankind.
Perhaps. But if one chooses to equate the two then there is plenty to do now that will address the birth of every child on the planet.
How about a safe and welcoming place to live, far from the roaring avalanche of the wars that those who never knew or understood justice heap on us all?
A community where all are accepted because that baby whose season we celebrate grew to teach that justice wasn’t selective.
Or perhaps a living wage for work well done so that those who care for the children in their lives can do so with pride and purpose.
Food to satisfy and nourish. Schools where minds are opened and questioning is encouraged. Neighborhoods free from violence and places where the sign “no smoking” is next to the one that says “no guns!” Clean air to breathe and places to run.
Yes, justice means many things for babies to grow and children to thrive if they are to be surrounded by peace.
“Tis then the season to remember once again that peace on earth begins with the children.