In the days that mark Christmas season, many pastors find their hours passing at a different pace and rhythm than they did during most of December. The advent candles have been blown out, the choir’s Lessons and Carols performance is over, and the shepherds and angels from the children’s nativity have transformed back to their roles as children. There is a chance to be a bit more still, with time for renewal and reflection…a time to reconnect with the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Much of the world now intends to hit the ground running — Christmas items have been purged from retailers’ shelves and yesterday’s Yule-tree has become today’s trash pick-up. But before you consider joining the masses in committing to regular exercise, earlier bedtimes or other fresh starts in 2013, please join us for a familiar prayer of peace attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:
Prayer of Peace
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Oh, Divine Father, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
– Catherine Wilson
(Photo by flickr user Alex Cameron)