“Hate is strong, and mocks the song.”

A few Sabbath thoughts regarding the horrible shooting in Orlando.

Early this morning a gay nightclub was shot up in Orlando in an act of religious terrorism. This was nothing more than an act of pure hatred—and completely typical of the world’s environment in these the last days.

Folks, it’s only going to get worse. Just make sure that you—whatever your political or religious affiliation—never give in to hatred. Never consider another group of people who happen to disagree with your own values your enemy. They are people to be loved, embraced, and reasoned with. Because whoever they are, whatever they stand for, they are children of our Heavenly Father first and foremost. Too many alleged Christians these days forget this truth, and are entrenched in prejudicial and hateful rhetoric that only helps Satan continue to divide us.

The Civil War was such a time of division. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem, “Christmas Bells,” when the Civil War was raging, when his own son had gone off to fight without getting his father’s blessing. His wife was killed in a house fire, the world itself was on fire, and in his sadness Longfellow reached out to God.

And he found his answer.

 

“And in despair I bow’d my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“GOD IS NOT DEAD, NOR DOTH HE SLEEP!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
with peace on earth, good will to men.”
He found the answer in the unbroken song of Christendom. A song that has been sung for millennia, never ceasing except in the hearts of people who cut themselves off and give in to hatred.
Always, before the disaster, and after, the song of redeeming love is being sung by our Savior. Through all death and carnage and battle, through the fog of hatred between splintered groups that have no reason to kill but do anyway, still Christ waits at the door. He waits. He waits. He waits. He does not sleep, and He is not dead.
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