Thursday, December 16, 2010
O Holy Night
O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining...
I'm not religious. That being said, I love a lot of things associated with religion. I think churches, temples, mosques, and other religious buildings exhibit some of the most beautiful architecture I've ever seen, and there is a lot of really spectacular religious artwork that I just love. I love singing masses, and religious music, I think it's really gorgeous.
And I love Christmas carols.
The video above is probably my favorite rendition of "O Holy Night", which is probably my favorite Christmas carol. When I listen to it, I totally forget for a second to nitpick that Jesus wasn't actually born on Christmas, and just enjoy the music. There's one verse in particular that really gets me every time...
Truly he taught us to love one another...
A couple of months back, I did a post entitled Follow The Way Of Love. Basically, I was really angry and worked up that there had been a series of posts about homosexuality being a sin, and they were so full of hate, and cruelty. I'm not a good Christian, but I think that I can safely say that Jesus wouldn't be okay with that. Instead of ranting and raving back in anger, I yanked a bunch of Bible verses that preach love. Because I'm pretty sure that the Bible tells us that we should love each other a lot more times than it tells us that the gays are going to hell. And so often, I feel like that message got lost somewhere along the way. I'm not religious, and I disagree with a LOT of the things that the church says, but I think preaching love is a fantastic message.
His law is love, and his gospel is peace...
For a lot of reasons, I've been hurting a lot in the last couple of months. People very close to me have hurt me in a variety of ways. Strangers have shocked me with their behavior. I've been disappointed in people. I've been let down. And it makes me sad. Because I look around and I see so much sadness, and selfishness, and negativity. I see all of us walking around acting like we're the center of the universe, or the most important person around. And while I understand that there is a natural instinct to take care of oneself, I hate that I see that being carried out at the expense of others. Is it such a hardship to be kind, and considerate, and loving to the people around you? Would it kill you to hold a door, or help someone carry something? Is it really so difficult to stop bullying people just because they're different from you?
And in his name, all oppression shall cease.
It's the holiday season, and regardless of which holiday you celebrate, I'm pretty sure there's some element of family, and kindness, and love involved. But I don't see that so much. I see people who are angry, self-involved, and often downright mean. I don't see people sticking up for one another, and being loving, or caring, or kind nearly as often as I'd like.
I wouldn't call myself Catholic anymore, despite that being how I raised. So I'm not trying to preach about how we should all be good Christians. I'm trying to say that we should all be good people.
I think that we all need to stop being so judgmental, self-centered, and cruel to one another.
There's a scene in the show that I'm working for right now that I watch from the wings every time I work, and I'd like to share some of the lines I really enjoy with you now:
"Real People! Doing the best they can! Yes! Doing the best they can in all the terrible situations the world throws at them! Suffering things no man or woman ought to suffer! And yet they carry on! They don't give up! They damn well keep going! And I'll tell you what else they do. They do the best the can for other people too. Whatever problems they've got, they damn well look after each other! Is that such an outmoded, sentimental notion? Is it? Well is it? ... Let's just all set ourselves to make this world a happier place! A decent world. A good world. A world where no nation plots against nation. Where no neighbor plots against neighbor, where there's no persecution or hunting down, where everybody gets a square deal and a sporting chance, and where people try to help and not to hinder. A world where suspicion and cruelty and fear have been forever banished! ... Is that the sort of world you want? Because that's the sort of world I want!"
I can't change anybody else, I know that. I can only change myself. So this holiday season, I am going to do my very best to put the pain and the hurt behind me, and be the best person that I can be. Because that's all I can do.
And I invite you all to do the same.