Monday, December 17, 2012

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Last night, we went and saw a performance at a beautiful cultural center in Puebla.  It was called, "Una Voz de Paz" - "A Voice of Peace".  There were hundreds of singers, actors, and instrumentalist playing out the life of Christ.  It was absolutely beautiful, but, at the same time, it was difficult to talk about, sing about or even think about peace after what happened in Connecticut this past Friday.  There are so many families in that community and around our country who are feeling anything but peace right now.  Everyone I know is talking about hugging their kids a little harder.  Every time I got frustrated with my 7 year old this weekend, I felt guilty and wanted to grab him up and just snuggle with him.  How do we find peace at a time like this? 

While we were watching the performance, it came to the part where Jesus was on trial before Pilot.  After the crowd yelled, "Crucify Him", they marched him off the stage.  Slowly, one lonely cross came down from the ceiling.  Kieran was sitting in my lap and I realized that he was crying.  I whispered to him asking what was the matter.  He looked up at me with red, tear filled eyes and said, "Why did Jesus have to die like that?"  Suddenly, I was the one with tears in my eyes.  Unlike some portrayals, this play did not even do a graphic demonstration of the crucifixion....just an empty cross hanging from the ceiling.  I reminded Kieran that the cross was not the end of the story.  Jesus died for us, but then he conquered death and came back to life and is still alive today.  The happy ending was coming. 

But that still leaves the question, "WHY did Jesus have to die like that?"  The answer is because of our sin.  Why did those beautiful, innocent children and teachers have to die this past week?  Because of sin.  We live in a broken world.  We live in a society where it is perfectly acceptable to show violence, blood, sex, affairs, bad language and disrespectful kids (and adults) on prime time television and even on so called "kids" channels.  However, it is taboo to show families praying together, going to church or even displaying good moral values because we might "offend" someone.  Why should parents have to do research before taking their children to see a "kids" movie?  What does it say about us as adults that Hollywood thinks it needs to put at least one or two bad words or sexual innuendos into kids movies to make them entertaining enough for the parents.  We can talk about changing gun laws or putting more safety measures in schools, but the truth is something has got to change in our society before we can find real peace again.  In order for our society to change, we have to change as individuals.  WE have to start making better choices at home.  What kind of music do we listen to?  What movies do we watch?  What TV shows are playing on our television sets?  Peace has to begin at home.  Everyone is outraged by the shooting last week, but are we outraged enough to make the tough changes that need to me made?  Are we willing to unsubscribe from cable tv?  Are we willing to throw out those "Mature" rated video game that cost $50?  Are we going to turn the channel off of a song with a bad message even if it has a good beat? 

Most importantly, are we willing to get on our knees and pray everyday for peace to return?  Are we willing to love our neighbors who don't act very lovable?  Are we willing to be friends with someone who is different than us?  In times of tragedy, most of us feel overwhelmingly helpless, but there are so many thing we can do to help heal our broken world.  I'm ready to find that peace that Jesus died to give us.  Are you?

Silent night.  Holy night.  
All is calm.  All is bright.  
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.  
Holy infant so tender and mild.  
Sleep in heavenly peace.  
Sleep in heavenly peace. 

Kieran fell asleep in my arms near the end of the performance.  Now that is peace...

No comments: