Bethlehem is a walled city (more info as to what this means here: http://www.btselem.org/English/Separation_Barrier/). Depicted here is a nativity scene that raises questions about what this time of year truly means to us.
We find ourselves wrapped up in the rhetoric of "peace" around Christmas time, but are we truly grasping the meaning of the word? Peace - a fluffy, warm, fuzzy word? A Utopian ideal? For the future? Unattainable? If we search and find peace around our Christmas trees as we gather with family, friends, and food... do we stop looking there?
I encourage you this Christmas to question "peace" ..what does it truly mean? If this blog is meant to be my personal experience with learning about a very relevant and horrific reality in our world, I will be honest - I struggle hearing wishes and blessings of Peace in a world so broken, from mouths who claim to be the hands and feet of the one who came to bring peace - but seem to shy away from hard questions and hard truths.
Are we missing the point?
The very city that Christ was born into is broken. And yet many of us sit by. Whether it's the brokenness in your own home, city, country or further then that, peace is not yet attained - and what are we each doing to fight for the reign of justice - the hard, difficult work that is required to attain our "fluffy" dreams of "peace" - ?
This word causes me frustration. It makes me angry, it makes me cry, it makes me smile when I see the possibilities in my community as to what a world could look like if it were as beautiful as some of the active relationships I see here in Waterloo.
But peace will not reign until we - out of desire or responsibility - fight for it.
Peace will require a struggle; a hard, beautiful struggle - but it is not for others to fight - it is for you - for us to fight. If we've got it why should we keep it to ourselves? If we don't have it, why not press for it on a whole and help each other out?
We are the answers to prayers for peace.
This holiday season - no matter what your beliefs - I hope that you experience peace in your own sphere, but also simultaneously desire that for others, understanding that the love that was brought to the world so many years ago is meant to be lived through us - it is our responsibility and deep pleasure as humans one to another.
Let peace not be distant but something we do not give up actively hoping and fighting for this year.