Peace comes to us even as we wait.
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“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:13 King James Version
You were probably expecting a picture of baby Jesus surrounded by his mom, step dad, and stable animals instead of a picture of Mt Saint Helens. I could have provided that picture, but it’s not Christmas yet. It’s still Advent; the last day of Advent.
Candles will light our sanctuaries tonight, we’ll sing Christmas carols, and greetings of, “Merry Christmas!” will fill our ears. But let’s take one more day to focus on Advent and the gift of peace. Next year we have only one day to focus on peace as the Fourth Sunday of Advent will be Christmas Eve in 2017.
So, if there’s no picture of the stable guests, why am I quoting a text from the Christmas story?
When the shepherds heard the angelic choir, they were not standing beside the manger. They were still out in the field. The words had not yet been confirmed. They did not see the baby of whom the angels sang. Yet, the shepherds were as close to worshiping the Child as Christmas Eve is to Christmas Day.
Mt Saint Helens tells us a story of peace as we wait to celebrate this baby’s birth.
Mt Saint Helens’ eruption was violent and took the lives of fifty-seven people. The ridge on which I took this picture was named after one of those people. Today the mountain is a picture of peace. Though there are still times of minor eruptions, I was not afraid to stand on the ridge where David A. Johnston spoke his last words, “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it.”
The life we live this side of eternity gives us glimpses of peace. We live with a promise, the same promise given to the shepherds, that peace comes in this baby; peace today and eternal peace at his second coming. Though we are minutes away from celebrating the peace that is ours in this baby, may we know that because of this baby we already have peace, even in the eruptions of life.
Text and Picture Copyright Douglas P Brauner