A few months back I was surfing at a local spot when a pro surfer paddled out with his posse in tow and decided that they now owned the ocean. They would sit in the prime position to catch all the waves and prevent anyone else from surfing. The only way to surf was to drop-in on the wave one of them was already riding, which would be breaking the cardinal rule of the water.
Sitting close to me was a beginner, it was obvious by his blue foam board and lack of etiquette. A wave was heading our way that he decided he was going to catch it, but the problem was that the biggest, scariest guy in the posse was already riding the wave. His thick beard dripping with salt water and his leather sun-scorched skin made him someone to be feared. As he approached the rookie dropping in on him, he lifted one of his legs and kicked the dude right in the face! I understand not dropping in on someone, but it doesn’t deserve knocking their teeth out!
In this complete injustice, I did nothing. I watched the guy paddle in ashamed and embarrassed…
The second weekend of Advent is about peace. When I asked our students to describe peace they used words like, meadow, clouds, silence, gentle and calm. But is this the peace that Jesus brought? The pronouncement from the angel in Luke chapter 2 paints of picture of God breaking into a broken world and challenging the Roman government. Where they promised Pax Romana for those at the top, the angel promised peace for those on whom God’s favor rests. It was a subversive message that promised a peace that no government could ever fulfill.
Peace is not passive; it’s an action. Ignoring injustice in our world, refusing to stand up for what is right, allowing friends to gossip, walking past a person being bullied in our schools is not creating the peace that Jesus left heaven for. Peace is the willingness to surrender your own position for the betterment of the world.
Where do you see injustice happening in our world? In your workplace? In your school? Are you passively or actively bringing peace to that place? This Christmas, lets honor Jesus by partnering with him in the advancement his kingdom of peace on earth.
***Bearded man pictured above is not the person portrayed in this post. I was too afraid to take a picture…