“Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.” I Thessalonians 5:13b-15 (NRSV)
The Griswold family is intent on sparing no expense to make their Christmas the best old fashioned experience possible with their tree, the food and massive decorations. However, they experience sequential comic disasters. When the negative events and frustrations reach crescendo, Chevy Chase mistakenly sees a brightly shining star in the distance (the sewer plant is on fire caused by his thoughtless cousin), he relaxes and thoughtfully remembers that the “best” is really peace among family and friends.
Amid the anxious celebratory and commercial activity of the Christmas season tensions run high, belying the peace we all seek that quietly lurks beneath the chaos. The insight and humor of Ecclesiastes comes through magnificently.
O God, it is the season when we hear “peace on earth good will to all,” and yet often tensions do run high, there is no peace and good will seems to be in short supply. Forgive us. Help us to make that peace wherever we are and to extend good will to all. These requests we make in the name of the One whose birth we celebrate, namely Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.