Romans 12:9 – Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good. (NRSV)
Isn't Christmastime a time of love? Isn't Christmas a celebration of the coming into the world of the greatest example of our Father's love? How can I say that Christmas is a time to hate?
Of course, this time of the year is a time for love for each other and of being reminded how we are gifted through the love of our Father with His Son, our Saviour. But a part of loving is to hate what comes between us, to hate what is evil, to hate what would have us love less (the Greek in this verse for "hate" is "miseo" which can be translated "love-less".) First, let us hate the evil and sin within ourselves, then follow His Word and hate the evil in our world that keeps our world from becoming His Kingdom.
We should hate evil, according to Paul, but not evildoers. ("Love the sinner, hate the sin.") Too much we hear (even in "religious" circles) that an ever-increasing array of behaviour is permissible (even "justified" by scripture). But not only do we need to keep our eyes open to see evil where it is, but also we must hate evil in order to love the evildoer. We must hate evil in order to bring true reconciliation to our world.
We must hate evil to cast it from us and from our relationship with others. We must hate evil to be able to have love that is genuine, and to appreciate fully the wonder and glory of this season.
Luke 6:27 – But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (NRSV)
Yes, that's what it is all about – loving our fellow man. How can we know the greatest gift ever given and not want – with all our heart – to mirror God's love for us to everyone we meet?
Prayer: Dearest Father of us all, help us to see and learn to hate the evil within ourselves and to hate the evil of this world. Let our hate for evil be so intense that it forces direction to our love, for our fellow man and, most especially, for your Son whose birth in our world we praise and celebrate this season. In His name we pray. Amen.