Dr. Hamlin’s Reflection for Sunday, December 04, 2016
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.”
Henri Nouwen, 1932-1996
Dutch Catholic Priest
Each of us should personally consider evaluating how we are living. Bro. Phillip Owens usually asks the question: “How you living?” It is a profound question. Each of us needs to consider our actions, especially in association with others.
How are we treating people? What difference are we making in the lives of others? What are we willing to let go of so that we can receive greater blessings? Are we holding ancient grudges and refuse to forgive? These questions and others are serious and are worthy of consideration.
There are those who intentionally seek to harm others. We continue to see that in the many horrific violent incidences on college campuses, public buildings, and other places. Despite what others may do, good must overcome evil (Romans 12.21) and peace must overcome chaos. We are called to do good and live in peaceful ways.
These things are easily spoken and hard to practice with consistency. Yet, our calling as followers of Christ is to walk in the ways of peace. We must daily seek ways of accomplishing this and encouraging others to do the same. We should model this way of living for others.
The Season of Advent, Christmas and other religious holidays call us to examine the role of peace in our society. The Christmas story is about God’s intentional decision to intervene (John 1.14) into the affairs of humanity and offer an example of peace as a role model.
Throughout His ministry among us, Jesus offered healing, acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love. He was popular because people sensed His genuine sincerity and honesty. They knew Jesus was deeply concerned about them and demonstrated it in concrete ways.
Because of His sincerity and unconditional love, we are the fruit for the world to see. We, too, must sow seeds that will produce characteristics of Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3.16, NIV).” Through God’s gift of Jesus, we can experience peace. During this holy season, let us be peacemakers, spreading peace wherever we go. “Peace is in our hands.” Amen.