Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | November 25, 2014

November 25, 2014 “Season’s Greetings”

“Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:17)

Good Morning Prayer Warriors!

Last evening, I watched with great dismay as the night skies of Ferguson, Missouri were ablaze with the ignited fires of deep-seeded anger and rage at the decision rendered by the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown shooting case. In one particularly ironic scene, while tear gas canisters were being fired by police in an attempt to disperse the increasingly violent uprising occurring on the streets, in the background was a holiday sign, also ablaze with a message that dramatically contradicted the current mood of the city in turmoil… “Season’s Greetings.”  

Over two thousand years ago, another sign in the night sky, this one over the town of Bethlehem, also stood in stark contrast to the realities of a world in great duress. It was the appearance of angels making a declaration of peace to a people living in turmoil…a people also filled with anger at the civil authorities whose rule stirred their ire and inflamed their passions.

The inclination of people to repay one unfortunate act with another, be it justified or not, is still sadly prevalent in our society. Not a lot has changed in that regard over the centuries. Jesus Christ came with quite a different message and his faithful followers echoed that message. To the Christians living in Rome at a time of great persecution, Paul does not call on the citizens to rise up in rebellion. Instead, he admonishes them with the directive, “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”  The inclination we have is one of retaliation when we perceive that we have been wronged. Instead, we are called on to discover something of beauty in another, just as God has done in us. We are encouraged to do our best to get along with everyone. This isn’t necessarily easy, but it is far better than what transpired on the streets of Ferguson last night. Instead of insisting on getting even, we should leave it in God’s hands and trust in him to set things right. The “Season’s Greetings”  angelic sign must never be forgotten, and will never be extinguished: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.” Let’s pray!

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace; I pray that the  sign of Your peace will blaze more brightly in me than any inclination of retaliation when I am wronged. May it also burn brightly this day in Ferguson, Missouri, and in the hearts of everyone that would seek to violently retaliate rather than work for peace and reconciliation. Make me an instrument of Your peace, I pray, in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

 

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