by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church, Ashland, Ohio.
Lord God, "Oh Holy Night" seems to be playing from every speaker in our general vicinity. Though it is ubiquitous and we take it for granted, please give us your grace to truly hear these words during this, the fourth week of Advent, the week of peace:
Chains shall He breakfor the slave is our brotherand in His nameall oppression shall cease.
Jesus, these lyrics speak of You, but we as Your followers do not always live like they are true of our Brother and King. It is so incredibly easy to walk through life without glancing at those siblings which do not appeal to us, to rationalize oppression by believing that we are not actively causing it. Let "That’s too bad" go extinct on our lips; take it further into "That is unacceptable, that is antithetical to the Gospel, how can I be the hands and feet of Jesus here?" Allow us to claim this promised peace and do something, anything, to make it real in the lives of those around us.
Holy Spirit, animate these efforts. May our desire to see the kind of peace which restores to wholeness take root and flourish. Yes, You promise peace will reign in our hearts, but peace can and will also reign on earth.
Help us to not hide from it. Help us to reach out to the slave with hands only freed from shackles by Your grace. Help us to look oppression in its ugly, pernicious eyes and shatter it in the name of Jesus.
God, let it be so. God, kick me in gear.
Cross-Posted from "Reflections on Faith, Words, and The Holiness of Today"