Peace AblazeMy dear Sarah has this Christmas ornament that she has from when she was younger. Every year it comes out of the box I laugh maniacally at the poor, incinerated figure atop the wooden word Peace. Here sits the cherubic figure, always marked by the fact that the sweet flame, flickering atop the Christmas decoration, got too hot, too near. And POOF! Arm gone, marked for life. I think it’s a beautiful picture of Peace because Peace comes at a price. Peace is not the absence of conflict, as Pastor Jim once said  (invariably borrowing from somewhere else I believe, but I may be wrong and he may correct me). Peace is instead something bought at a price, the sureness of our relationship with the God Who Is, who sent His Son to die on the Cross, a most ignominious death. And that is the mark which forever brings us joy, not the cheap laughter that happens every time I see the crispy creature in this photo, but real, deep, abiding joy that flows from Peace that had a price.