I didn’t buy Christmas cards this year. I didn’t write a Christmas letter. I’m struggling with it a little bit.
Every day cards, letters, and photos arrive from people that we love, who cared enough to ask for our new address, who wrote personal notes — some of them quite long, who made sure to remember us this Christmas. As they arrive I have that internal battle — does my desire to simplify and not send cards send the message that I don’t care? That I don’t miss our friends in St. Louis? That I don’t remember family that lives far away?
I hope not.
Because we are so blessed. We do care about all the people we have known over the years — our friends who are missionaries in Tanzania who recently made the decision to adopt their first child there, our friend serving in Guatemala who is coming home for the holidays, our friends in Oregon, and Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, and Michigan. We do miss our friends in St. Louis — the friends who labored so hard and for so long to build the congregation where my husband served, the colleagues at the high school where I taught, our neighbors, and all our dear friends. We do remember family in Texas, California, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.
We just didn’t do a card or a letter this year.
So let me say here, that if we would have sent a card or a letter it would have wished you peace. Peace in whatever circumstances you are living, peace in the face of all the conflict in the world, peace within yourself. We, too, are looking for the peace that passes all understanding. We know that one day we will experience it fully. We pray that we, and you, get a taste of it this week as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace and that that taste lingers into the coming year.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.