I live in Florida. Today’s high will be 85 degrees. So it was pretty funny and a little surreal to watch a woman screwing on the head of her Christmas lawn-ornament snowman in her shorts and flip-flops. This happened on my way to the pharmacy to buy the leftover Halloween candy at 50% off. I laughed, and then I was outraged, as I thought of the poor turkey decorations that would remain in dark closets or hot attics!
…but then, from the twisted corners of my mind, I heard…
“jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…”
And before I could stop, my heart swelled with joy, my mouth curled into a smile, and I began to hum it!
Oh, little pilgrim decorations, please forgive me!
Since the first Sunday in Advent is coming right on the heels of Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to share this poem I wrote with you now with the hope that it may be of use to you. I shared it with my church last year, and they seemed to enjoy it. It’s about how “Peace on Earth” seems to be tossed in with tinsel, talking reindeer, and sugarplum fairies – things of fantasy and that are tucked away in boxes in a couple of weeks. But the real amazing thing about the coming of Christ to this world is that peace on earth is actually a possibility.
I do pray you have safe travels this Thanksgiving and that wonderful memories are shared and made! And please remember…
Friends don’t let friends decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.
Lord, thank you for these opportunities to celebrate with family and friends. May we honor You in our fellowship. May we be able to count our blessings this Thanksgiving and count on the many blessings still to come as we proclaim the advent of your coming. We pray in the name of the Risen Lord who promised to come again, Amen.
“…and then there’s peace on earth.”
magic that carries
reindeer across the night sky.
of Christmas present, Christmas future, and Christmas past.
A red nose that glows
a large bag that stows
millions of toys on a sleigh.
A Grinch who brings mirth
once his heart grows in girth
Oh…and then there’s peace on earth.
A snowman that runs
Little elves that turn
wood, paint, and nail into toys.
Naughty and nice lists
glass of milk and cookie bits
discovered half eaten, half drunk.
A nutcracker that dances
in far away places
and ends up being prince charming.
Affording 6 egg-lying geese
and other “12 days of Christmas” fees
why not throw in “on Earth, peace”?
A voice in the wilderness
cries for hundreds of years
to prepare the way of the Lord.
Zachariah does not speak
Elizabeth’s womb leaps
at the presence of Mary’s firstborn.
A Hebrew, pregnant teen
a carpenter willing to believe
the concept of this unusual conception.
In the inn there was a dearth
of space for his birth.
Can there be peace on earth?
Among cattle and sheep
the confounded couple keeps
the babe snuggly swaddled and sleeping
While the angels sing
Glorias to the King of Kings
while shepherds watch are keeping.
Announced not to the powerful,
but to those most hopeful
for things to change in this world.
He came our fears to cease
from evil and sin release
and to bring to all on earth… peace.
Wise men stopped by
the meaning of this child’s arrival.
“My eyes have seen your salvation
prepared in the sight of all nations
Israel’s glory and to Gentiles, a revelation.”
Jesus taught holy ones and sinners
and with the same he ate dinner
sharing his gospel of justice.
An eye for an eye
will never provide
the means to achieve peace on earth.
And in word and in deed
to those with plenty and in need,
he showed loving is never a loss.
His love has no bounds
it could even be found
nailed to a rough, hewn cross.
seeking us always
calling not to judge but love one another.
Let our praises increase
and our proclamation never cease
that because of the Prince of Peace
There can be…there will be peace on Earth.
Lolimarta Ros Reiter, or as most of her friends know her, Loli, ministers alongside the fine folks at The Presbyterian Church of Seffner outside of Tampa, Florida. She was born in Puerto Rico but has lived on the mainland since she was 9. Her daughter Isabel (9 years old) wants you to know her mom is funny; Olivia (6 years old) wants you to know she likes to talk about God…a lot; and John, her husband, wants you to know that she is the best wife, ever…Such a smart man! She looks forward to being in cyber-community with you.