Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing"1 (Lyrics)
You may have already started your Christmas card list. Soon it will be time to post the cards. But are we making the same mistake that we have made in the last few years? Who should really be receiving our Christmas greetings?
Notice what we are told in Scripture:
Matthew 5:43-45a – You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (NKJV)
Leviticus 19:17a,18 – You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. (NKJV)
In the past eleven months, is there not someone that you may have disagreed with, even argued with, who should be made aware that you hold no hard feelings towards them?
As a matter of fact, in my cards, I always put a brief note to ask forgiveness as I see necessary. I tell them that I value their friendship and look forward to seeing them in 2017!
The fact is that our enemies are also our neighbours, and loving our neighbours is so important that it is repeatedly mentioned in Scripture:
Mark 12:30-31 – "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." There is no other commandment greater than these. (NKJV)
Galatians 5:14 – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (NKJV)
You may think that reaching out in this way is to make the person who receives it feel better, which may be true, but the real benefit will be to you for making peace at such an important time of the year.
Try it; it works!
Prayer: Be with us, O Lord, and give us grace at this very special time, to show love not only to our friends, but also to those whom we perceive as enemies. Amen.