Song of the month- Highly Favored One by Lindsy Morton
I hate waiting for things I’ve ordered.
I. Really. Hate. It. It’s probably why I rarely order things online. I can feel my blood boil with each passing day. Package? No Package. Package? No Package. Package? Wrong Order? Wrong house? Wrong thing for me to do if I want to remain nice.
I hate cold showers.
I think it’s just one of those “most vulnerable” moments in life. Stark naked, surrounded by cold tiles which might as well be the bricks of a prison cell when, sudsed up to glory, the water decides to run cold. Honestly, you could convince me Gremlins were real in those moments.
I hate things that look delicious but taste nasty.
Beautiful, red tomatoes that taste like bitter feet. Watermelon that feels like wet lint in your mouth. Chicken that does not taste “just like chicken”.
My kids hate their share of things too…Like sharing things.
My seven year old hates mushrooms.
My two year old hates the word “yes”.
And we all hate how close the back of the seat is to…whoever is kicking it!
These may seem like little hates. But hate is hate and big or small it can control our whole day. Week. Month. Year. Years. Life.
I hate injustice. I hate prejudice. I hate hate.
I hate the fact that before my flat foot hits the floor in the morning, I can find a never-ending list of things on Facebook to hate as I caress my coffee cup. I hate how easy it is to hate.
It’s almost not fair to us as humans. This love of hate. We deny it, of course. We hate that kind of negative talk. We have all sorts of good works to drum up hoping to offset the guilt of our hate. But that’s the reality show of life. We excel in hating.
It’s why at Christmas time, the Story of Christ is such a profound, unbelievable, miracle.
Really? God come to Earth? Really? Born in a Stable to a humanity that won’t even let Him reach his mid-life for a crisis? Unbelievable.
Yet, unbelievable as it is, it remains a timeless story. At Christmas time, unlike any other time of year, we are reminded that hate was conquered.
In our current political and cultural climate, this is something we can’t set aside and come back to meditate on later. It’s now, Church planter. It’s now, Christian.
Meditate on this- Hate was conquered in the laying down of all rights.
Do I hear the ever-prolific words of my two year old? …”No no no no no no no. No!”
“Yes, said God. Lay down all you hold as logical, loving and valuable; and value people who will kill you instead.
…Or please tear out this verse in the Bible, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son (to be killed), that whosoever (His enemies) believes in Him should not die, but live forever.”
The one with ALL the power, i.e. God, laid down all His rights and became a infant.
Let’s take off our Sunday school ear muffs that make that last sentence sound like a long run-on sentence spoken by Flanders on the Simpsons, and hear it fresh.
God gave up all because His enemies were more important than anything else to Him.
Right now, I’m sitting in a public place writing this. And to my side is an irate woman giving her friend (and anyone near her) and ear full of profanity and rage. Why? Why is she so upset that the whole cafe must hear? Well, someone came into her house and left poop splattered in her toilet. Lots of it. She is giving full details. I mean much more than I’m willing to write here. I’m trying really hard not to eavesdrop, but their conversation is just too perfect for my analogy here.
The reality is,we don’t like our rights, our comforts, and the things we love, jeopardized. And as long as we have things we want to protect or promote, we will hate things that work against what we want. Inevitably, we will begin to hate those things that threaten the things we love most.
This Lady loved her pretty bathroom. She really hates the fact that her new, nice rug had pee on it and her toilet was left for her to scrub, and her new slippers are ruined and her night’s sleep was upset. And now she probably won’t be able to get a roommate cause the whole place smells like %@#*.
Well. There it is.
Honestly, left to myself without the Gospel challenging me, I’d hate someone who’d try to steal or destroy something I loved. My children, my husband, my friends and family.
But the Christ key is not giving up loving things, but loving others more than any-thing. Hard.
Hate will terrorize us. Then it will terrorize all those around us and near to us. Like that woman’s hate was consuming her and overflowing like her toilet, onto everyone around her.
The Miracle of Christmas was not just that Mary was a Virgin or that God was Born in a stable in Bethlehem, or that God lived and walked the earth as a human. The miracle is that that baby grew up and conquered hate. When all hate was poured out on Him, He still loved.
He did not let hate terrorize Him. His compassion for others pushed Him forward in His times of greatest fear and torment. His Love was His bookmark, helping Him follow the story through to the end.
John 3:16 does not say that “God so Hated sin that he sent his only son…”
No “God so loved…” and because He so Loved, sin was conquered.
Yes,we have terrorists in our cities. Yes, there is horror and hate ready to spring to life in this earthly garden. But there is something else that is so much more powerful.
Losing our life. In the words of Elsa, “Let it go”.
Newsflash, it’s going anyway. If not today then in about 20-70 years from today you will be gone.
When we no longer fear losing things, then we will be free to love like Christ.
Christ’s words, “He who wants to save his life will lose it and he who loses his life will save it” (Luke 9:24) have never been so profound to me as this month when I read about the lives lost in California. Like Paris, it was Hate.
The temptation, of course, is for me to try and self-preserve. Be less tolerant of those of different beliefs, shut borders, turn out any refugees, hide, protect, fear, push the “enemy” away.
But then the hate has won, because you cannot love what you lock out.
No, I will not be terrorized out of compassion. I will still say let’s kill with kindness. Terror will come to each of our homes at some point. This is a fact. But if it finds no footing in fear there, it will not be able to grow roots and infect us.
I will fight one thing. I will fight Hate. Just as Christ did. It will be a lot harder for me, but I will still fight it.
I will not be terrorized out of compassion.
I will confine my hate to bad fruit, cold showers, and my late-arriving packages.