Reflection: Shortly after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem. There they encounter a man named Simeon who knows Jesus’ true identity. Simeon’s prayer makes it very clear that the gospel, the life and light of Jesus, has been prepared for and is available to everyone – Jews and Gentiles alike. It’s so important for us to understand that the light and peace of Christ is God’s plan for all humanity – on an individual and on a global level. Let me go a step further and suggest that individual peace has a lot to do with global peace too! Going back about a century ago, there was an idea that if we could just educate all the world conflict and war would vanish. Two world wars among the most educated of all the nations on earth crushed that naïve optimism and now almost nobody thinks it is the complete answer. Education may even just help us think up more sophisticated ways to kill one another! So, what is the answer….?
Question: Do you really believe that the life, light, and peace of Jesus has been prepared for, and is available to all people? What difference might understanding that make? What does it mean for the millions of people who are displaced by war at this very moment, and what is our responsibility for that?
Prayer: Lord God, just as Jesus came for both the Jews and the Gentiles, so too your light and peace is for all people. I pray for all those who do not know your peace in their hearts, for those who do not know peace in their daily circumstances, and for those for whom there is no peace of any kind. Amen.