Isaiah 9:6 NRSV

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NRSV)

The NEW YORK TIMES several years ago during Christmas carried a picture of a priest walking through a metal detector manned by Israeli troops on the occupied West Bank.

As soldiers looked on, the elderly priest, cane in hand, walked solemnly through the security device.

As paradoxical as this picture is, one is inclined to say that some things never change. The imagination would say that this is perhaps something like it was on the first Christmas morn. The caption for the TIMES picture read like this: "In Bethlehem, Christmas is marked by tension..."

Today, we once again feel the tension of the Iraq situation. We long for the tension of the world to be relieved. We also long for the tension of our lives to relieved.

This is the season when we think about peace. We long for peace, and that peace can be found in the Prince of Peace.

God of all, help me to create peace with the help of the Prince of Peace. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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