In a world of chaos and bustle, as the streets are lined from taillight to taillight with traffic. As the bells with red kettles ring on every corner and schedules overflow with holiday programs and cookie baking, gift wrapping and Christmas parties… in this season of giving, can we pause for just a moment and consider the purpose of the chaos?

As we stand in a church pew for (perhaps) the first time in a while, as we sing Silent Night by candlelight; we rush home in snow covered streets to our families with fish dinners or friends with feasts, as we wish those around us merriest of days, do we know and truly believe the sentiment of those words?

We gather around tables both large and small; we welcome friends and neighbors into our homes with warm hugs; we share the magic of the moments that the holidays bring…and all with common theme. Love. Joy. Peace. Hope.

As the children sneak out of beds to catch the glimpse of a little sneaky elf or the big man in a red suit, as they catch mommy kissing on him? Is the truth wound up in the ribbons under the tree? Are the meanings lost in the mistletoe or melting away with the silent snowfall? Have we come to the place of purpose where the heart finds the true reason of beating?

This holiday season, as we struggle to satisfy our hearts desires, as we stuff our schedules and bellies full of the things that promise to complete us, let us be found also in the true joy of the season. Of the peace that desires to invade our hearts and our homes when we reach for it. Let us gather together in one accord and raise our voices in love to our neighbors as we embrace the meaning of the season. As we enjoy the fullness of the Christmas season and all that it holds? Let us hold each other in love and be reminded of the Hope that the coming year brings.

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present and hope for the future.” Agnes m. Pahro