(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
[This post was originally scheduled for Tuesday December 23..but..well..the holidays pushed the editor of The New Normal back a few days. My apologies. -Trey]
When I was a kid I used to love to sing the doxology…Heck, I still do. When reading this chapter I once again, as I always seem to do in Psalms, read it in the tune of a song it matches, The Doxology. I don’t know if any of you have that propensity or not but you should try it out sometime. This chapter is a beautiful praise to the Father. It praises His character, His Eternal Being, His Love, and even His judgment for the wicked. While reading this I couldn’t help but think about how solemn the Doxology always seems to me. But in the same light it makes every hair on my body stand up to the reverence the song lends to God.
Following along I passed several glowing examples of how the Lord has blessings in mind for each of us and that ultimately ended up in the celebration we’re taking part in tomorrow, Christmas. The long lasting moniker of Christmas has been, “Peace on Earth Goodwill towards Men”. How beautiful is that? If it were only that easy. Of course we all know what shape this world is in. Actually, it’s no worse off the day Jesus breathed His first breath upon this earth. Mankind is still flawed and unholy. But here in my little world, that moniker we so often hear this time of year can be attained, right? Cheerful, giving with a grateful heart, loving openly and freely without transgressions or spite?
On the way to my office to write this blog I stopped at a couple of stores to pick up a few last minute gifts, to put fuel in my truck, and to Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch. It seemed that everyone alive within a 20 mile radius wanted to shop a lot slower, chat about their Christmas plans to the cashier, let people in and out of traffic all while driving slow in my path to get nowhere fast. I yelled, because the horn doesn’t work in my truck and that’s a blessing in itself, I pointed, I may have even let a few words out that would have caused my grandmother to make me eat Dial soap (Which happened in the early years and I will not use Dial to this day). I didn’t think anything about all of this orneriness until I read this chapter. When I got to verse 8 I was stoned by the Word. The Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. Whoa! What if He cursed me when I wasn’t doing what He wanted me to do like He wanted me to do it? I’d be damned.
Tomorrow marks a day that we remember the patience the Lord has with mankind. This is not the actual calendar date of the event but it’s a day of reverence to remember the Son taking upon a human shell, to hurt, to feel, to be tempted like we all contend with daily. He put our shoes on so that He may ultimately heal. “Peace on Earth Goodwill towards Men”…
I can’t speak for all of us, but I know I’m not the only one who gets short with crowded stores, busy traffic, or just anything in general this season and just any old normal day of the week. So, I asked myself, where is my peace and goodwill towards those around me? Why am I not slow to anger when I’ve received grace myself? The answer is hard to admit, because I’m selfishly not looking at those around me as Christ does. I’m thankful for the grace I receive and I should give that freely to those around me; even if they are horribly slow drivers.
I’d just like to urge each of you to be quick to love and slow to anger…You may never know that Goodwill you share could bring peace on someone’s earth.