Truly he taught us to love one another
His law is love and his gospel is peace.
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise his name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
I thought this was the second verse, but when I went looking to make sure I had all the words in the right order, I found out that it's the third verse. And I don't remember ever hearing the second verse before.
I love this verse for a lot of reasons (I have to say that it's the "sweet hymns of joy" bit that really gets me), not the least of which because it's more or less fiction. Yep, I'm going to be a killjoy on Christmas. Christians have not, alas, lived up to the standard of breaking chains and stopping oppression. We're as guilty as anyone else for starting wars and spreading hatred. And I'm not okay with that.
I'm not exactly setting out on a personal quest to fix all the wrongs in Christendom. Among other things, that's not really my job. I am setting out to be sure that I am doing all I can to live at peace with my neighbour. To love those who don't love me. And to be a light in my little corner of the world. And I encourage you to do the same.
The happiest of Christmases to you and yours. And have a safe and fun week between Christmas and New Year.