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I know…
Or at least my faith prompts me to believe…
That there is
something more about these days which lead us towards Christmas.
Something deeper and more important which begs for our attention.
And, God only knows, the world needs Christmas to be something more this year than glitter and candles and carefully wrapped giftsThe challenge for you and me, as people of faith, is how do we get ready for THAT?

Here is the challenge, I think.
What does it mean to say God with us in the face of the tragedy in San Bernardino and all those other places where anger and violence destroys lives and communities? And, what does it mean to sing about Peace on Earth as we remember the terrorist attack in Paris and the chaos in Syria and the desperate flight of hundreds of thousands refugees? Today, at least, I am better at asking the questions than providing an answer. Because I know if I attempted any answer right now it would sound empty. And right now, platitudes do more harm than good.
But, I think…
I hope…
I believe these are the right questions for us to ask.

What I think I know is this.
With the world as it is, in the midst of everything else you and I do to get ready for Christmas, we also need to plunge in deeply and to carve out time to live with and to think about and to pray about what God with us and Peace on Earth really ask of us. Asks of each of us. So we can be ready not for the kind of Christmas we want, but for the kind of Christmas the world needs.

Paul Alcorn is the pastor at Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford Village, NY.

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