‘Tis the Season...
By IVAN BELIVEAU
A refrain from some Christmas song goes something like this: “’Tis the season to be jolly…. I wonder what would be possible in the world today if the refrain went something more like this: “’Tis the season to be compassionate and understanding… There was a time in the past when there was such a hope.
According to the disciples Luke (Chapter 6, verses 27-38), and another version of the same event from Matthew in the New Testament from the Bible, Jesus delivered a famous Sermon from a hilltop.
The Sermon was radically different from anything that had been heard in the “Holy Land”. Many before Jesus had preached that an army should be raised to defeat the enemy. Rome knew exactly how to deal with that concept…with predictable results.
For some, this sermon is what gave Christianity an identity that changed the world for the better.
It is certainly what some Sunday Schools used to teach. Perhaps they still due, although there doesn’t appear to be a lot of evidence for that these days.
The Sermon has been called the “Sermon on the Mount” and excerpts from it are often called the “Beatitudes.” They are certainly thought provoking:
- “ …Love your enemy…”
- “Bless them that curse you…”
- “…Him that smiteth thee on one cheek, offer also the other…”
- “Give to every man that asketh of thee…”
- “Do unto others as you would others do unto you.”
- “For if ye love them, which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them.”
- “And if ye do good to them which do good for you, what thank have ye? For sinners do even the same.”
- “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.”
- “…Love your enemies...”
- “Judge not and ye shall not be judged…”
- “Give, and it shall be given unto you…”
During this holiday season, for all people in my life, I offer a sincere, from the heart – Happy Holidays!
My commitment is to offer compassion and understanding to others, even in the presence of cynicism and despair.
May your lives also be filled with compassion and understanding.