A short break from hate

This is a magical time of year. We are kinder. We smile more. We give and love to see the joy our gifts bring to those we love. We say Merry Christmas freely and without fear of offense. I do at least. I’m telling people Merry Christmas at 12:01 am after Thanksgiving Day. We stop being so consumed with our work and put family and friends first if only for a little while. 

During this time of year, we are more than our jobs and what the government and our bosses and a fickle society tell us to be. Rather we are the best of what we can be. We are men and women who want to see good in the world, and for a little while, just a sliver of a moment in the seemingly eternal struggle, we say there is more to the world than work and money and arguments and deadlines and commitments. 

There is good and there is God and in the smiling faces of our friends, our husbands and wives, our children, we can see Him beaming back at us.

I’m reminded of my favorite Christmas song:

Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright

round yon Virgin Mother and Child,

Holy infant so tender and mild,

sleep in Heavenly peace!

sleep in Heavenly peace!

 

Silent night! Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight;

glories stream from Heaven afar,

Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,

Christ, the Saviour, is born!

Christ, the Saviour, is born!

 

Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, Love’s pure light

radiant, beams from Thy Holy face,

with the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth,

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

That last bit – the part about Love’s pure light – resonates with me. God speaks directly to our hearts every day. But it seems like it’s only at Christmas that we take the time to listen. On that Silent Night, after the redeeming grace, we can truly know that our hope and faith in humanity can be reborn, just like hope for the world was redeemed 2,000 years ago with the birth of the Once and Future King. 

I don’t think it’s a coincidence we hear Him a bit more this time of year. I don’t believe that at all. Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men during this time of year. 

So if I have one hope for this Christmas it would be the same hope I have for every Christmas. I hope that more of us can carry on the spirit of Christmas throughout the year. I hope that the people in charge will care a little bit less about power and more about what’s right. I hope the people with the money will care a little bit less about profit and a little bit more about humanity. And I hope the people with hate in their hearts will smother those flames under a blanket of love from the one above us and the ones around us. 

Hate in the heart poisons the soul. I’ve been there. And I never want to go back, so I try to live every day like it’s Christmas Day. I fail a lot. But the point that matters is I keep trying. I won’t let the difficult people in this world – the cruel, the greedy, the politicians, the panderers, the schemers, and the fake folks who surround us – keep me from trying to make this place just a little bit better than it was before I entered it. I hope you too can find yourself working toward that goal. Stop worrying about gaining political points in a world that’s rigged against you. Stop worrying over what others think of you. God doesn’t care. So neither should you. 

Merry Christmas, my friends, my family, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Find peace in the promise and excitement in your own chance to be reborn. 

(Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association.)

 


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