Thursday, December 24, 2015

Get Off Your Ass and DO SOMETHING: A Christmas Wish

While lotsa folks are lovin' on "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Sleigh Ride," my favorite Christmas carols were always those that B98.5 conveniently forgot. Likely because Mariah Carey never did the Olde English "Good King Wincelas" or "I Saw Three Ships," these tunes have fallen from favor.

Some other ne'er played favorites of mine? "The Holly and the Ivy," "I Wonder As I Wander" (This one should be mandatory listening every year), "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel" (likewise mandatory), "Here We Come A-Wassailing" (just because it's jaunty), and, perhaps my favorite, "Some Children See Him."

But this year in this particular season, I find myself humming "A-Wassailing" a little less and a lesser-known tune a little more. Perhaps - in fact, I am sure - it's because this not-at-all-jaunty carol boasts a speak-to-me theme: "Let There Be Peace on Earth and Let It Begin With Me."

For those who aren't familiar, the lyrics are these:

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment, now

With every step I take let this be my solemn vow:

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

...

Sure, it's preachy and P.C.

And it's certainly no soul-rousing "Hallelujah Chorus."

But while the Lord God Omnipotent surely continues to raineth (as He has done every year), this particular song points out that we, as human beings, haven't really been excelling at our end of the bargain when it comes to upholding The Golden Rule.

Sure, other songs - this one in particular - also call for peace on earth, but they, like so many Miss America hopefuls, only put forward such a possibility as a wish.

"Let There Be Peace on Earth" dares go beyond that. It takes a stand and issues a challenge.

Not only am I gonna wish there was peace on earth, I'm gonna do my part, every freakin' day, to make sure it happens.

So while you carolers and Miss Arizonas are over there wishin', I'm gonna be workin'... and we'll see which process yields more results.

Now I know many of the wishers out there are already doers. Many Miss Americas use their crowns to make some sort of positive difference. But while sparkly crowns may open doors - may make people sit up and listen for a time - it's my impression that this particular holiday, and the peace for which it calls, is less about a sparkly crown than it is about a crown of thorns.

I know, I know...that's throwing Easter into the mix...

But what I am talking about here - and I note the irony of the beginning of this sentence as I type its conclusion - is that talking isn't enough. Wishing isn't enough. We need to be doing.

After all, if Jesus had just talked a good game, but never walked a walk that ended in sacrifice, most among us wouldn't know his name. If it wasn't for the sacrifice, the willingness to go the distance and pay the ultimate price for peace, there'd be no reason to celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Right?

Now, as Jew, I know I believe differently than many of you. I have my own thoughts and theories about Yeshua of Nazareth, but, rather than letting those beliefs cloud the issue, I rather think they reinforce my point. About "Let There Be Peace On Earth" anyway.

Because, see, you and I can disagree on many things - Jesus included - but the desire for peace is a shared one. It transcends doctrine, race, sex, and creed.

It's one of the few things the vast majority of humanity can agree on.

And if the vast majority of humanity not only agreed on something but had the balls to act on it...well, then maybe peace on earth wouldn't be such a far-fetched prospect that Anne Murray had to croon some carol for Aladdin's lamp.

...

I talk a big game.

But here lately I have been castigating myself for my lack of "do."

Sure, I want peace, but what have I done to contribute to it? Write a blog? Pointed you to an obscure carol?

Maybe that counts as doing something. Or trying anyway. But, as another prolific spiritual leader once said, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Friends, I challenge you, during this busy time of year, to reach into your heart and actually find a way, any way, to make the world a better, more peaceful place this Christmas.

And, perhaps I can hearken to a teacher whose words many of you will recognize when I tell myself: "Go, and do likewise."

1 comment:

  1. My precious precious daughter. I know all of the carols you say you love and I love them too. I want peace too more and more each year that is my prayer and my hope and as the song says peace has to start with each and every one of us. I also know about the manger and the thorns and the path He took from one to the other. This blog brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I to must walk the walk and do my part. Love you more every day.

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