The antidote for Christmas season stress will be in Bedford next Sunday. Partake of it and be cleansed.
The weeks-long focus on toys and gifts and impressive decorations can make it seem as though these are the core of Christmas. We forget all too easily that Christmas is not about the gifts we give; it is about the gift we all have been given, the gift of eternal life.
"I am the light of the world," Jesus said. "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
To recenter us, Boy Scout leader Gretchen Osgood and her son Joshua, a Boy Scout, are bringing to New Hampshire a reminder of that message.
The Osgoods started two years ago a tradition that we hope lasts forever. Each December, they arrange to bring New Hampshire the Peace Light - candles lit from an eternal flame in the Grotto of the Nativity, the neighborhood where Jesus was born.
Scouts in Austria began the tradition of bringing this light to Europe. American Scouts have arranged to have it flown each year to New York City. Scout leaders from communities in the United States can drive to New York and bring the light back home. The Osgoods have made this their annual Christmas mission.
Next Sunday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bedford Presbyterian Church, the Boy Scouts will offer the Peace Light to anyone who wants to share it. To accept this reminder of God's gift, bring your own enclosed candle (or, preferably, an oil lamp) and have a plan for keeping the flame burning continuously in your home.
The Scouts' goal is to remind as many people as possible that "we can all be channels of peace through our words and actions." Spreading the flame and the message would be a better way to spend this Christmas season than striving to pile a few more gifts under the tree.