Ok, the light was low, and this shot isn’t of the highest quality, but just look at that little mess. Freyja, or Fray-ter-tot as she is known doesn’t always evoke feelings of peace, but then there are times when she is quiet and so doggone cute that my heart is filled with peace. Times like this, times when she snuggles on my lap nuzzled between my thigh and the arm of my recliner and snores gently. In those times I find it difficult to do anything, I call it puppy paralysis. It is a blessed thing, but it can’t go on forever, there is work to be done, I mean somebody has to pay for these doggie beds and shredded doggy toys strewn about the place.
Here is the funny thing about his, I had never been a dog person. Now there are three in my house. They are noisy, often squirrely, and occasionally naughty. I have spent more on their toys, their food, and their medical care than I want to admit. By rights, this should bother me, but I love these little buggers. When not yapping at the doorbell or a bunny out the window, they do bring me peace.
So how does this happen? They will never be Nobel Peace Prize candidates, I love them, but they are not the sharpest pencils in the drawer by far. Despite how my wife behaves, they do not understand English, nor do they contribute to the welfare of our household in any accountable way. They do this by simply being dogs, a job they are uniquely qualified to do.
In our lives we are called to bring peace, to follow in Jesus footsteps into the way of peace as our reading from Luke puts it. The only skills this job requires of us is to be who God created us to be and to show up. Peace is intentional and it begins by showing up and living into each day following Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. By being who we are as children of God we can bring peace, simply by being who we are. As far as teh gifts of Advent go, that is one we each have to offer each other so that we might all know the peace that passes all understanding.