“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14
At this time each year, the old traditional seasonal greeting, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men” is omnipresent and reverberating in Christendom.
What a lovely sentiment, “Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.” It flows as freely as the array of seasonal festive drinks—you name them—people have already begun to imbibe, and will continue to do right into January 1, 2016.
Yes, by next Thursday night many people will be in that ‘spirit’ zone, and feeling better than James Brown who, unfortunately, died a few Christmases ago. Don’t know which is better, the netherworld where JB is at, or this bad, bad, mad ‘man’s world’ he left behind.
I think the netherworld is better; many men are fighting and dying to get there. Apparently, lots of nubile virgins, milk, honey and all sorts of nice things await them. Count me out! I’ll settle for what’s available in this here mad, mad world.
“Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.”
And as people continue to liberally pour out the sentiment, one has to think, and wonder, how can there ever be “Peace on Earth…” with nefarious forces… (the men of ‘goodwill’ in high places, in close proximity with government and certain corporate connections…) lurking, embracing and perpetuating all that’s antithetical to the notion of “Peace and Goodwill.” They continue to foment and fuel multiple wars and conflicts compliments of their buffet of weapons being manufactured and offered/showcased on the international tables in the world of Christendom and elsewhere, specifically to propagate and perpetuate their version of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward man.”
A couple weeks ago someone handed me a religious tract with this question screaming on the cover: Will suffering ever end? and a sketch of a sobbing white woman below. It continued: Would you say… Yes? No? Maybe? I turned to page 2 and here was the answer… What the Bible says, “God… will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain.” Revelation 21: 3, 4, Contemporary English Version.
It continues, What That Can Mean For You: *Assurance that God does not cause our problems, *Comfort from knowing that God feels for us when we suffer *Hope that all suffering will end.
I stopped reading there.
And then there’s that Adventist Church publication, Priorities, which someone drew my attention to me when she asked me to read a short extract highlighting the accomplishments of Republican presidential contestant, Dr. Ben Carson. I read the short piece then leafed through the publication for something else of interest. I stopped on something about […] God’s Commandments.
As I read them, the Fifth Commandment came back to me (religion classes, Sunday school days), something about “Thou shall not kill!” And I thought for a moment… all the Commandments have long been broken; it started just after they were written. All that could be done was to try and contain the transgressions… But the killing, for all intents and purposes, could not be contained. [In fact, it has been tacitly edited from the Commandments; now there are nine.] There has been no let up; killing is unbridled. It has become one of mankind’s favorite pastimes.
“Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward man?”
There’s no goodwill intended when some politicians aspiring to [higher] office lay out their plan to essentially, quote, “make the world a ‘better and safer place’’— at least in their civilized, demented minds—by eradicating those on the other side of their ideological/religious schism with archaic and futile forms of retribution: [spilling] blood for blood with no winner on either side if ever/whenever the visceral hatred ends and there’s no more blood left to be spilled.
Not even the traditional annual Christmas Eve services conducted by Popes (God’s disciples of Christendom, his personification on Earth, through all their solemn moments of beseeching… warring parties to stop the killing during his Christmas Eve services or during Holy week) have had any impact on the ongoing wars and conflicts currently being waged for various, and as the warring parties say justifiable, reasons in certain places on Earth, especially the “Holy Land?”
In multiple tongues, Popes ask the people, ostensibly the faithful, to “Pray for peace…” But his pleas are obviously falling on deaf ears. People are hearing, but no one’s listening… if you know what I mean.
There’s ample madness and resulting peace deficit on Earth right now. But many would argue that despite what we continue to see and hear, there’re ample amounts of “Goodwill…” being spread [without fanfare], and many people continue to be on the receiving end. Decide for yourself what is your particular example.
Maybe if Luke had written: “[…] Goodwill toward women,” that sentiment would’ve been better received, and resonated. After all, women continue to produce those men—and a handful of ideologically steeped women—who support those men who have taken Earth to the place, the state and time where she presently finds herself.
Nevertheless, right now, here in Canada, much to the chagrin of many (a certain constituency), the welcoming of hundreds of Syrian refugees last weekend, with many more to come in 2015 and 2016, is a blatant (Goodwill) gesture and promise being kept by the new government. More tellingly is the fact that it’s affording peace to thousands of people who had fled conflict for the relative refugee and safety of camps… now here. They have not known peace for years. Based on what I’ve seen in the news, their arrival in Canada is akin to landing in paradise—not that one with virgins… They truly will find peace here, especially because the new Canadian government, in respecting another election promise, has decided that Canada will no longer be engaged in that futile bombing farce in that Middle East Earthly powder keg.
To paraphrase the sentiment of many people, “You can kill people, but you cannot kill an idea or ideology.”
And here’s a little more Goodwill, the government has also decided to re-impose the moratorium (which the previous Conservative government had lifted just prior to its defeat) and allow hundreds of Haitians, Zimbabweans and other nationals to remain in Canada for the foreseeable future. Why not?
As heard in conversations, it would’ve been disingenuous, if not hypocritical, if the government had gone ahead with the Conservative plan: acquiescing to the baseness Xenophobic, racist constituency.
[Wonder… if under different circumstances those refugees were (thousands of) Black people if there would’ve been long carpets laid out, or official committees and delegations present to welcome them. That race ‘thing’ at the core, the nature, the culture and ethos… Colour matters!
Nevertheless, whenever circumstances and inhumane conditions impact people somewhere, humane people elsewhere are always ready to benevolently give of themselves.
[As time goes by], the old adage comes to mind, “The world is going to hell in a hand basket.” Actually, many argue that the world has already reached that dubious destination.
But in the remaining days of 2015, and in the face of the ongoing wars and conflicts, the faithful in Christendom will still be chanting: “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men.” And many will continue to ask: Whatever happened to that sentiment?”
The optimists will respond, ‘One day cooler heads will prevail and the mutual, gratuitous killing on all sides will end!’
Let us hope!