Gifts of Peace

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Christmas Pack #14

Cover Page

Gifts of Peace

Resources for Churches and Groups

Copyright Creative Commons (original ©1993, Alternatives)
Feel free to reprint on a not-for-profit basis.

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Gifts of Peace: Alternative Christmas Packet

Messages of peace surround us at Christmastime. From Christmas card greetings and familiar refrains wafting through the malls, to Scripture passages that guide our churches through the season, we greet the "Prince of Peace" and remember the promise of "peace on earth, good will to all." As we stand in line at a crowded store or tuck an anxious child into bed, we might be reminded of the words to a favorite carol . . . "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright . . . ."

How "calm" is our Christmas? How calm was that first Christmas? Beyond this image of a tranquil, starry night in Bethlehem lies a more disorderly and troubled scene. A pregnant young girl marries a man who is not her baby's father. Travellers must leave their homes to go register with the government. A child is born on the streets because none will give up their own comfort for a laboring woman. The governor has all the baby boys in the area killed to ensure his grip on power.

Jesus was born into a troubled world. And Jesus comes as a gift of peace to our world exactly as it is right now. Jesus comes to pregnant teens, to homeless families, to refugees, to victims of violence and oppression. Jesus comes to frantic holiday shoppers, anxious children and busy families. Jesus comes with the promise of peace on earth, through justice, righteousness and plenty. This is the world we wait for and work for.

The resources in this packet can help us work towards the fulfillment of Jesus' promise as we learn to live by values of reconciliation, creative problem-solving, acceptance of differences, and unity with the poor and powerless. The packet helps us to welcome the Prince of Peace, and to receive and give gifts of peace this Christmas.

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Page updated 11 Sept. 2013

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