I wore a tiara when I got married. The fashion for floral wreaths in the hair was just fading and my new hairstyle didn’t suit that anyway. As we drove through the safari park to the mansion that was our reception venue in our vintage open top MG, I heard, as we passed, a voice cry out from a queue of Brownies waiting for a ride:
“Look, Brown Owl, a princess!”
It’s not something an ordinary girl hears very often and it made me sit a little higher in my seat, adding to the day’s glow in my heart.
We begin to run out of Jesse Tree symbols as we get nearer to the climax of Advent, the birth of Christ, ‘the reason for the season’ as they say. Today’s symbol points us to the prophecy of the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Watching the news this week – the horrors of Aleppo, the numbers of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean this year, The Berlin Christmas Market attack – peace seems a distant dream. The world could do with a Prince of Peace to claim His crown and start reigning now.
But if we are children of the Most High, siblings of the Prince of Peace, shouldn’t we start acting like the princes and princesses we were born to be? It’s not enough to dress in a tiara and look the part for a day; we have to act it. Just as the Queen recently passed on some of her royal duties to other members of her family, so God sends us to be His envoys in the world.
Let’s start with two things: asking God how and where He wants us to bring about peace and then looking for opportunities to do so right here and now. It is quite possible that He may want us to practise peace in how we behave with those nearest to us first and that may involve some hard work: some change in our usual patterns of thoughts and reactions, some forgiveness, some consideration of others’ needs before our own.
And if we prove faithful in practising peace in our own day to day lives, He may then call us to apply the same principles to a wider stage. Perhaps He is already doing that by alerting us to the needs of others via TV or the News or a Facebook appeal. If so, we need to listen carefully and act accordingly.
In this season where the words ‘Peace and Goodwill to all men’ are so frequently spoken, let’s put those crowns on and start behaving like royal envoys, making the way clear for the Prince of Peace to claim His throne.