CHRISTMAS 2013: Peace on earth for all mankind, or division and animosity forever? You decide. I know this sounds preachy, but bear with me for a moment. I find this intriguing. In LUKE 12*57 Christ says, “Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?” Decide for ourselves what is right? According to Christ, we have choices. The American ideals of liberty and justice for all, are all about having rights, making choices, and deciding for ourselves what is right, just as Christ suggests. There are laws of course, but in a democratic government, of, by, and for the people, we the people make the laws, and just laws recognize, respect and protect our rights to decide for ourselves what is right, just as long as we don’t infringe on the rights of others.
Peace on earth is a mighty limited commodity in our world today. Many are disinclined to accept the choices of others. We can choose peace on earth, or we can choose hatred and endless disagreement. Until we accept that we are each different, and that our perceptions, attitudes, principles, understanding, values and traditions are as varied as the stars in the sky, peace will remain elusive.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Among the bible’s incomprehensible mysteries, Christ has provided one very simple solution. JOHN 13*34 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” I realize that many find this very sentiment sickeningly sweet and distasteful. Following Christ’s principles are not popular when they require empathy and humility, but, according to the bible, If we can follow one simple commandment, and love each other unconditionally, as Christ loves us, accepting our differences and respecting the choices of others, peace on earth may actually be attainable. We have a choice. We can wield Christ’s message of mercy and compassion like a battleaxe, imposing our narrow, uncompromising positions on others, or we can chose to follow Christ and do as Christ commands, loving each other unconditionally, doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God. It’s been over two thousand years. Perhaps this will be the Christmas Season when mankind chooses love and embraces peace. SC