The Nineteenth Day of Advent
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
The Christmas season is not at all welcomed by some. To many in our culture, mantras of “Joy to the World” or “Peace on Earth” ring particularly hollow because their lives are neither joy-filled nor peaceful. Apparently, not everyone in our world is anxiously awaiting Jesus’ glorious return.
While it is wonderful news to us that Jesus will one day return, he instructed us that, while we wait for that, the world will hate us (Mathew 10:22; John 15:18-19). And, despising us, it will do and say hateful things to us and about us. Even during Christmas…maybe especially during Christmas.
The question is, what will that hatred bring out in us? Are we truly living such a joyful life in Christ that, when put under pressure, that joy is what comes out? Or is it rather pain and anger just under our surface so that, when persecution comes, those are the first responses squeezed out of us?
While we await Christ’s return, we would do well to consider: how real is our joy?