Here’s another piece I wrote a couple of years ago on a lyric that oft gets “sung over” without allowing the power to sink in. Think about it when you sing “O Holy Night” this year!
“Law of Love and Gospel of Peace”
Last Christmas, I wrote this post amidst a sea of unrest, politically and otherwise. In light of recent tragic events, especially in Orlando, I’m reposting it here today.
There has been a lot of swirling conversation going on around me, both physically and virtually, about what has gone on in the world around us these last few weeks…Syria, San Bernardino, Jerry Falwell…and on and on. It was so much that today, I’d had enough and I needed a moment to just sit, be, listen and be quiet…in the quiet, I was overcome by the lyrics of one of the world’s most beloved Christmas Carols…and I had to write a bit about it. I’ll come back to the other verses and the backstory of this wonderful Adolphe Adam carol, Cantique de Noel, on another day.
[And I will return to my series of posts on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” later this week. But for a moment today, amidst the hatred, vitriolic speech, harsh judgment and language found in my Facebook feed and in other social and news media, I paused today just to breathe in and claim the lyrics of a Christmas Carol that so many love…but I’m afraid to have sung too glibly over the years.]
The third verse of “Oh Holy Night” speaks of a world in which those who claim to follow Jesus are living out he calls all of his followers to in his subversive Gospel.
That Gospel is deeply rooted in Love of God and Love of Others…and so many claim the first part of that Call…the part about loving God. But the back half…well, I’m afraid some have given Christ a bad name in how we’ve lived that out in recent days, weeks and months…that love of “others” is not one we can or should place provisions or privileges on…it’s unconditional love for all of our brothers and sisters…
“Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break,
for the slave is our brother,
And in his name
all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy
in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise
his Holy name!”
Come, Lord Jesus!