A few days ago I posted about song lyrics. It was about a lyric in “Winter Wonderland.” This one is a verse in “O Holy Night.” Everyone knows the first verse like the back of their hand. The other verses are a little harder to remember. The third verse is the one I want to talk about today. I think that sometimes we sing “church” songs so often and repetitively that we don’t even know what we’re singing. We don’t listen to the words. We just stand and sing because that’s what we’re supposed to do, but we need to “hear” the words to these wonderful songs. Songs that were inspired. Songs that were written from despair and heartache to blessings and joy. God uses His people to share from their hearts what He has done in their lives. You can read the story of “O Holy Night” here.
In the third verse it says: “Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His Gospel is peace.” I don’t know of another time in my life that we need to love each other more. God’s word tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. I admit that this is a very difficult task. People make it difficult. People that are different from you. People that are different from me. Whether this is race, religion, belief or some other difference, I don’t believe that we are supposed to differentiate from whom to love. God’s word says to love those people as ourselves. He doesn’t say which ones to love and which ones to not love. He does say in Romans 12:9 to hate what is evil and cling to what is good but He doesn’t mention hating people. He goes on in verse 10 and says “Be devoted to one another in love, Honor one another above yourselves. Verse 13 says: “Practice hospitality.” And then the biggie in Verse 14: “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.” What? Bless those who persecute you? Me? That stings huh? That one will take lots of prayer and practice. Ok….Stay with me.. “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” This is very convicting to me. It’s hard to live harmonious with some people. Right? It’s hard! Ok. Still with me? “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
These are instructions from God to us. This is what we are supposed to be doing but I think we fall short. I do. I’m so glad that in verse 19 God says we don’t have to avenge the evil. That we need to leave room for Him to avenge it and He will repay. It’s so easy for us to jump on board and want to “take care of business.” “Go ahead! Make my day.” And before you say it…I’m not talking about terrorist attacks on our country and our people. That, in my opinion, is a different ballgame. I’m also not talking about protecting yourself and your family. I’m a firm believer in the right to bear arms. I’m talking more about peaceful living. Emotional living. Doing right. Forgiving one another. Treating people right in our every day life on our street, in our jobs and in our churches and in our homes. Your neighbor, your co-worker, the guy driving incredibly slow in front of you when you’re in a hurry, your wife, your husband, your children, that ONE person! You know who!! “Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace.”
If we don’t take anything else away from this special Christmas season let’s take this…let’s show more love, patience and kindness. Allow someone to go in front of you in line at the grocery store. Let someone merge in front of you in traffic. Smile. Buy a coffee for someone in a coffee shop. Give a cup of coffee or a snack bag to someone standing on the corner. You don’t have to get in the last word. Find what works for you. Show God’s love in your every day life. I hope that if you see me I will be showing love and kindness to those around me.
Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
It’s just an Average Day on Everidge, Fifi