A terrorist suspect tries to blow up an airplane headed for Detroit. A woman tackles the Pope during Christmas Eve Mass. A Salvation Army officer is shot dead in Little Rock, Ark.

So much for Christmas cheer. Violence is everywhere.

Such was the world into which the Christ Child came long ago. His frightened family took him to Egypt to avoid the violence of King Herod. Some three decades later this same Jesus suffered a most violent execution.

The Prince of Peace, who called his followers to be peaceful and to be peacemakers, knew the ugliness of violence firsthand. Those experiences make his calls to love enemies, turn cheeks and walk extra miles more remarkable.

Only the naïve would believe that peace comes easily. Yet only those who leave Jesus in the manger until next Christmas would believe that sowing seeds of peace is impossible, irrelevant or the task of someone else.

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