Advent Day 10: Healing Peace …

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
— John 14:27

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
— Maya Angelou from Amazing Peace

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
— Rachel Carson from The Sense of Wonder

Jesus Heals

There are more healings of lepers than any other kind of story in the four Gospels. Jesus is always healing lepers. Leprosy, in fact, in the New Testament is a broad term. It really doesn’t mean what we would call Hansen’s Disease today. “Lepers” were people who, for some reason, were told they were physically unacceptable. They were people who were considered taboo, contagious, disabled, dangerous or excluded for all kinds of reasons. The message seems to be: “You’re not doing it right” or “You are not acceptable as a member of society.” Every Society does this, and we do too, but just in different ways and by different criteria.

When Jesus receives the lepers, he always touches them, and often he then leads them or sends them to a new place. Invariably he reintroduces them to the community and realigns their social status and acceptability.  He pulls them back inside of social acceptability.  That is the healing!
— Richard Rohr from Preparing for Christmas

Signs of the Kingdom

So Jesus says: Go to John and tell him what you see. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead are raised. The signs of the kingdom are here, all around me. The kingdom is breaking through now through me. There’s no more waiting.

In biblical times, there were those who saw the blind, the poor, the lame not merely as unfortunate, but as cursed because of their sin. You wanted to stay away from them, remove them. Jesus comes and says that in the kingdom, the blind, the lame, the poor are loved, included, freed. God’s love changes everything. It’s happening right here and now.

Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
— James 5:7-8

We live in a certain tension. Where do we see it? What parts of ourselves do we wish weren’t there? In what failures, weaknesses, or wrongdoing do we feel cursed? These are the places where new insights can break through. We come to see that our vulnerability is a gift, or that a weakness can be a strength. We come to know that the only love that is meaningful is the love that sees us as we are and loves us as we are.
— Mark A. Villano from Time to Get Ready: An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul

 Prayer

Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring.
The same loving God who cares for you today
will take care of you tomorrow and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering
or give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then,
And put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
Know that our God reigns — and dances with us in the shadow of death!
Francis de Sales

See Also:

Morning Gold

(photo credit)

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