The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a unique time on the Christian calendar. As holidays go, it has no particular designation, and for those who don’t have to return to work, is often a jumble of unrelated post-Christmas activities such as assembling packaged gifts (and shopping for those ‘batteries not included’ necessities), eating leftover turkey, mailing out a few more late greeting cards to those who unexpectedly sent one to you, maybe playing family board games, and other such things.
There’s a residual sense of wellbeing; an extension of that “on earth peace, good will toward men” we’ve been exposed to throughout Advent. But then we turn on the television and see Mike Holmes putting sad-faced African children on display while guilting viewers into sending financial aid for them. In fact, if you listen to the news, you can’t help feeling despair over the world’s inequality, wondering if there will ever be real peace in our world, or if humanity can ever be counted on for good will towards each other.
It’s moments like this that I tend to recall the words of a song that appeared many years ago — ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’ — which in turn remind me of so many kindnesses that have happened around me, just in this past year when life has sometimes been exceedingly difficult.
We have no control over what happens as a result of others’ actions, but we can help change the world if we will just act on the song’s last line…”and let it begin with me.”
So, what might we do to make a difference in someone else’s life today? And again tomorrow? What small kindness?
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