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"Amazing Peace" By Maya Angelou

As we close out this week of advent, enjoy this inspiring poem written especially for the White House Christmas Tree lighting in 2005. Maya’s words are so relevant for today.
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Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.

Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.

We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?

Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.

It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in a corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.

Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.

In our joy, we think we hear a whisper,
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apolory or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace. My Soul.
____________________________________________

Jesus has the final word:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Prayer

Lord,

Let me sing for joy to You; let me shout aloud to You, the Rock of my salvation. Let me come before You with thanksgiving and extol You with music and song. For You are the great God, the great King above all gods. In Your hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to You. The sea is Yours, for You made it, and Your hands formed the dry land. Let me bow down in worship, let me kneel before You my Maker; for You are my God and I am a people of Your pasture, a flock under Your care. Today, hear my voice, I praise Your Holy Name. Jesus I lift up Your majestic name that is above all other names. All glory and honor I lay at Your feet as a sacrifice of praise. I raise a hallelujah and shout Glory, Glory! Holy, Holy, Holy is my King, my Refuge, my Strength, my Portion, my Peace, the Rock of my Salvation. Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Amen!


Photo by 📷: Edward Cisernos

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