The theme of the second week of Advent is PEACE. We looked at George Bailey struggling with different events in his life that challenged his peace and how he resolved them. We laid those next to the journey of Biblical Joseph, husband of pregnant Mary, and the tensions he lived with in the midst of the political challenges of his time. I was surprised that this song was actually written in 1955 by Jill Jackson who was said to have been suicidal. She tried to commit suicide in 1944 but was unsuccessful. She had a “moment of truth” where she realized, “I knew for the first time unconditional love – which God is. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are in that moment. I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me, which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and I knew I was here for a purpose.” She later wrote the song with her husband and the song has been embraced around the world as voicing the longing in hearts for peace. Peace, though, is more than the cessation of conflict and wars among nations. It is the cessation of conflict with God and self.
The articles I read did not associate this song with a religious tradition as it appeals to people of all religions. But as a Christian, at this time of the year, I always reflect on the peace I have found as I have grown in my faith journey through relationship with God through Christ, nurtured by Scripture, fellowship, music, prayer, nature, authors and friends. May you be blessed with growing peace on your journey and Lord, have mercy on the many innocent victims caught in our world conflicts.