Last night My Joy and some of her family and some of mine went to the 9:00 p.m. Christmas eve service at College Mennonite Church. It was a beautiful service and instructive especially to me as we moved into the hallway and blew out our candles. The light of candles was not needed in the well-lit interior but were much needed in the dark hallway. Without light, my Joy and I had difficulty finding our cloaks and zipping the zippers. Inwardly, I cursed the darkness, but we had blown out the candles. I did not have peace or joy. As part of the service we had sung many carols. Click on the following link to enter a discussion of the meanings of the Lord is come and the Lord has come and whether “Joy to the World” is a true Christmas carol..
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing –
Joy to the world! the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy –
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of his love –
According to the Bible story, the first coming of Jesus into the world was an act of love. Nevertheless, sin and sorrows grow and thorns still infest the ground. War by and among Christians is a darkness that curses the world and delays the dreamed about paradise. Among all the peoples of the earth, Christians should know that living as Jesus lived is the way to peace.
The population of South Sudan is predominantly Christian. Because of internal strife, the United Nations is sending armed “peacekeepers” into South Sudan. The large nations individually and the United Nation’s General Secretary are telling South Sudan that war is not the answer to their needs. The factions should talk to each other. That is a sign of hope. Only goodwill energized by love produces a peace that ensures the joy that makes known the wonders of love!