December 31, 2010
The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas
By Melanie Rigney
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day. (Psalms 96:1-2)
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Lord, sometimes I hide behind the dodge that Your intent, Your plan is too difficult to understand for me to put to work in my own life, much less evangelize to the world. I ask that you give me the courage to proclaim Your Truth in thought, word, and deed.
“‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer,” Francis Bacon wrote.
“Truth is meant to save you first, and the comfort comes afterward,” according to Georges Bernanos, author of the award-winning Diary of a Country Priest.
“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote. “Take which you please—you can never have both.”
The author of 1 John didn’t have much patience for political correctness in his time. Some people who’d been part of the early Christian community now were saying that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah. Others doubted his humanity. Much like today, everyone had an opinion, a definition of the truth. And the author of the first reading wasn’t having any of it. We know the Truth, he in essence says, and if you deny it, you’re lying. Not “you may be misguided” or “we need to dialogue about this and reach a middle ground.”
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with compromise. Here in the nation’s capital, we can certainly use more of it as we head into a new congressional session. And friends can agree to disagree on their opinions of books, movies, television shows, fashion, and many other subjects.
But when it comes to Christ, there’s not a lot of room to compromise. As Christians, we can’t believe on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays that he was fully man and fully human and that he arose from the dead so we might have everlasting life, and then on the other days of the week say those facts are open to interpretation. We can’t have it both ways. If we’re going to call ourselves followers of Christ, we must strive always to carry the Truth in our actions, words, and thoughts. For to do less, when we know better, as 1 John says, “is alien to the truth.”
As you contemplate your New Year’s resolutions, ask for God’s help to do as the psalmist says and “announce his salvation day after day.”