Advent Blessing: Peace

It seems that most blessings are for peace
(if not love, or faith, or some other such vague ideal)–
A few words to calm you down and get you out the door.
But this is not that kind of a blessing.
It will not make everything OK
Or pretend you can escape trouble
—for yourself or for this world.

This blessing holds out to you
            with trembling hands
The Advent peace of the incarnation:
The peace of terrifying angels who must repeatedly say: “Do not be afraid.”
The peace of a pregnant virgin and a dreaming father.
The peace of a long journey and lowing cattle.
This blessing does not wish you calm, but compassion.
It does not offer ease, but insight.
It will not promise protection, but always God’s presence.

This blessing may not be the blessing you want.
But I think you should take it anyway.
Because this is the blessing of peace that Jesus gives.
We know he does not give as the world gives.
So may your heart not be troubled.
And may you not be afraid.

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