“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Those words were the first lyrics of a song I learned in Girl Scouts in the 1960s.
The words are true. As the peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in “Being Peace”:
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
In Christian mindfulness, this peace comes from walking step by step in the present in the presence of Jesus. It is a peace that passes understanding. A peace that overcomes fear and worry. A peace that reflects the light of God into the darkness.
During this pandemic Advent, when many of us are at home with our immediate families all the time, doing this kind of peace work is essential. We create the mood in our homes. Even one person who is at peace and happy can make a huge difference to the family atmosphere.
In Zoom meetings with Christian friends, I often hear concern about important work for God that the quarantine has delayed. I contend that the quarantine gives us at least two wonderful opportunities: the chance to spend more time with God and to show more love to our nearest and dearest.
Let us enjoy this time. It won’t last forever.
As the song says: “Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally. Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”