Peace makes me think of relaxation, calm, a wide open space and harmony. When I want to be “at peace,” typically that means an escape involving travel, alone time or a quiet nook in a cafe.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid, promises the Prince of Peace. I do not give as the world gives. I am always searching for my completion, my peace, in what someone else offers – a soothing candle, exercise and diet, relationships, social media and entertainment.
My peace I give to you. If peace is something that he gives, if he is peace, then peace is wholeness and completion, something that only comes with the presence of the Prince of Peace in our lives. Peace is not the escape from our circumstances, but it is the embrace of someone, him.
He gives himself as our peace, and he asks me to surrender to his peace.
This week’s advent meal happened by accident, and turned out to be a dual effort by Husband and I. Lentils have been on my mind more and more as a good source of protein instead of relying constantly on red meat, and I love lentils in almost anything. There is something complete, hearty and nourishing about this humble…I don’t know what it is. Vegetable? Grain? Pulse? Last weekend I tried making Sri Lankan dahl for the first time in my life. It turned out well, so well that I wanted to eat it again on Monday as my advent food.
I made a big pot of it, and when I returned after eight in the evening, Husband already had a portion of it. But he re-invented it per German standards. It turns out that his grandmother used to make a lentil dish almost exactly like this particular pot of what I thought was Sri Lankan dahl, only the German version has sausage and – promise – red wine vinegar. Very strange to think of vinegar in dahl, yes? It soothed my taste buds and satisfied my hunger.
- Gerlankan Dahl sautee in oil chopped onion, crushed garlic and finely chopped ginger. Add a few cinnamon sticks, some cumin powder and a bit of garam masala and keep sauteeing. After a minute or two add red lentils. Fry for another minute or so then add water. It is hard for me to know how much water to add – I started with double the amount, but as it soaked up the liquid, I added more. After the lentils are cooked and it’s a good consistency, chop some sausage into it (the better quality the sausage, the better it will be; we had the cheapest kind of smoked sausage available and it was still good). Add red wine vinegar at the end – go easy, add bit by by and taste as you go.