Monday, January 14, 2013
It seems like yesterday when it was January 2012 and we were filled with optimism as the new year rolled in. We were optimistic.
But we witnessed a divisive presidential campaign, we saw the lowest level of respect ever shown on the national scene, and we saw partisan politics at its worst. Lewd, crude and rude was the norm on talk radio, television and other areas of the media. We were violent in our words and malicious in our talk in the guise of free speech.
Most of our leaders were selfish and partisan in their choices and though they were at odds with each other they all said they were doing it for the American people.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †
But then in the elections the American people spoke. But even now it seems that whatever message was sent was not received. We are still fiercely partisan, we have put our own spin on truth, and we march headlong following the same steps we took before, not considering the greater good of the people but insisting that what we want is what is best for everyone else.
Selfishness, bickering, inaction and rudeness were garments worn often and displayed proudly by many of our national leaders.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †
Now there is yet more violence of a different sort echoing in our ears.††††††††††††††††††††††††† †
The tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and other tragedies made the songs of Christmas seem empty because manís inhumanity to man has taken center stage in our nation.
Oh what pain and grief many families are feeling this holiday season. What a sense of loss families and communities are struggling with as they try to make sense of the violence that has been unearthed on innocent children and adults who just happened to be in certain place at a certain time doing their job.
Violence by words gives you an opportunity to respond, but violence by guns destroys not just the life it takes but the lives of many others who are yet alive.†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †
But amidst all this pain and grief and sorrow many of us realize that we can still experience a deep peace in our hearts knowing that God is still in charge. The ending of the lives of innocent people is not the ending of the story. We believe in a God who is just and fair.
We can escape manís judgment seat through all kinds of actions, but never Godís. We can feel pain and still have peace. We can go through tragedy and still trust, we can grieve and grieve with hope. We can rise from tragedy better instead of bitter.
Peace on earth hasnít got to sound hallow, it can be comforting. Joy to the world hasnít got to mock us, it can comfort us. While war rages on the outside it need not be our state on the inside.
We want peace in the world but before that can happen the Prince of Peace must first reign in the hearts of men, then we will be able to live harmoniously, then love will transcend politics and soften discord, then we can be a kinder, gentler nation.
ďPeace on earth, goodwill towards menĒ the Christmas carol says. This year, let us not just sing it or say it, letís live it, lets show it.