Often at this time of the year, we join in the prayer for peace on Earth, and goodwill to all men (and women).
This year my prayer is a bit different.
Don’t get me wrong, I still yearn for peace.
I still wish us, all of us, every last one of us, good will.
This world needs peace, rooted and grounded in justice.
And yet I wonder sometimes whether the prayer for peace is a formality.
I wonder if we pray for peace, and wake up the next day realizing the world is still broken and unjust, and move on with our lives.
I wonder if it all seems too daunting, too overwhelming, too much, too big, too unfixable.
So this year, while still wishing for peace and good will towards all, I pray for something else.
I pray that we work, each and every day, to make this world just a little more kind.
I pray that we strive to alleviate just a little bit of suffering.
I pray that we work to bring a bit of kindness into the lives of people we come across.
I pray that we connect lives of people here with people there.
I pray that we live to bring a bit of beauty into our every day lives.
I pray that we realize that true peace has to be connected to justice, and that if we are serious about peace on Earth we have to work to establish justice here and there, everywhere. I pray that we realize that “peace on Earth” has to be rooted in the commitment to the sanctity of human life Dr. King talked about in his 1967 Christmas Day sermon. Take a minute or two to read it.
I pray that we awaken to the realization that you and I are not meant to live as we live.
I pray that we come to see that another world is possible, and we come to be participants in making it so.
May that be the beginning of peace on Earth and good will to all women and men.