Celebrating Christmas during our troubling times
“Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” That’s an excerpt from Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” a famous Christmas carol. The first part of that lyric, “Peace on earth,” is a little far afield of what’s going on in the world today. It’s Christmas time and all around there are wars and battles going on. Peace seems to be only a word to many.
As Americans we take so much for granted. During Christmas we worry about what others will think of our gifts to them or perhaps even what we’ll get in return. We nit-pick about the small things and often put ourselves before others. Our problems are nothing compared to what others in our world are facing.
For example, in Syria the government forces have been battling the rebel forces to the point of cities turning to rubble. Families flee to neighboring countries to stay alive. Over twenty months of bloodshed and over 30,000 have died in the conflict in Syria. Lately, they’ve announced a cease-fire, which has been somewhat, followed, but I don’t see any “Peace” in Syria.
In addition to bloodshed, there are countries where the living conditions make staying alive a battle every day. There are places where children dig through trash and sip on contaminated water just to stay alive. There are even children in our own county who suffer from food deprivation. Instead of lending a helping hand, we look upon them as if they have a disease or we treat them as if they made poor decisions in life and should learn to live with them. To me, those attitudes are not Christ-like and certainly not showing mercy.
We observe the violence around us. We see horrible acts within the United States and the communities in which we live and wonder, “How can someone do that”? As a society we have veered far from the path of righteousness. Sin is consuming each and every one of us and is taking over our nation. I might sound like I’m “preaching” but look around us. War, bloodshed, immorality and drug problems; the list goes on and on. What we need is for God and sinners to reconcile.
It appears we live in a world that has forgotten why we celebrate Christmas. This Christmas time let’s lend a hand and give with our hearts, not our wallets. Where we can, let’s make a difference in someone else’s life. Finally, in the busyness of the season let’s remember to make spending time with the people we love a priority.
“Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled, Hark the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the newborn King.” It’s a beautiful song about the birth of Jesus Christ. He’s the real reason for the season we celebrate and trusting in Him is the only way out of this crippled society in which we live.
By James Brandly