Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Peace, Good Will Towards Men"

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another. Love each other as brethren, be sympathetic, be courteous" 1 Peter 3:8 

The church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend.
To guide, sustain and cherish
Is with her to the end.
      The best Christmas sermon the world has ever heard was the first, It was short and simple: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men."
      And the child whose birth those words heralded came among men to preach that simple gospel.
      Theologians have, in many instances, with strange, perverse blindness obscured and darkened the appealing beauty and simplicity of that divine message.
      Jesus went up and down the world holding out open arms of peace in benediction upon humanity, saying in His tender compassion, "Let us love one another."
      And because His words were so simple, so understandable, the world has clung to Him through ages of fear and doubt and disputation.
      More and more the Christ spirit triumphs among men, and it triumphs because it is the spirit of perfect love.
      It takes no scholar to grasp that spirit. Every human heart has felt some measure of the love that makes human brotherhood; there is none who cannot understand what "peace, good will toward men" means.
      Only as the spirit of love works its way among men, teaching them new kindness, to mercy, to justice, can Christmas really be celebrated in the world.
      Whosoever has hated his human brother, whosoever, high or low, has wrought against his fellow,  whosoever has withheld sympathy and service from a neighbor--that man, be he ever so pious and prayerful, has never entered into the spirit of Christmas.
      And wherever men love one another, and help one another, and bear each other's burdens, and dedicate life and hope and aspiration to the good of their fellow men, eager to achieve a world in which justice and truth and charity prevail--there indeed is the spirit of Christmas manifest. For there they have learned the new commandment, the eleventh and greatest of them all:
      "Love one another."

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