The Hope Still Lives

Posted on 22 December 2009

Christmas Peace

“In the background of the consciousness of the world, waiting as silence and moonlight wait above the flairs and shouts, the hurdy-gurdys and quarrels of a village fair, is the knowledge that all mankind is one brotherhood, that God is universal and impartial, Father of mankind, and that only in that universal service can mankind find peace, or peace be found for the troubles of the individual soul.”  H.G. Wells, Outline of History (1920)


The Christmas season has always held the promise of “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”  For Christians and others who immerse themselves in the Season’s Spirit, we become a little friendlier, a little more thankful, and a little more considerate of others at this time of year.  Oft expressed is the hope that we can carry forward and live the “Christmas Spirit” each and every day.


Of course, we cannot.  Unfortunately, the world, on the whole, is not a friendly, grateful, or considerate place.  People, by their very nature, are egocentric and guided by self-interest.   The marketplace of ideas – religious, philosophical, political, cultural, and social – is highly competitive at best and utterly ruthless at worst.  And, the purveyors of ideas often seek victory not merely in that realm, but in the physical world as well.


Organized religions and governments have long understood the importance of ingraining particular concepts and ideas in the minds of their adherents and subjects.  Control over thought spreads to control over discourse and ultimately to control over mind, body, and soul.  With every side convinced of the rectitude of its position, the clash between people of opposing ideas becomes a battle for global domination.  A primary source of discord in our world, its progeny include hatred, terrorism, and war.


This scenario, however, need not be the model for our world.  If we only admit to the premise that God is impartial and that, in human affairs, there are no absolutes, then we can become more accepting of different cultures, philosophies, races, and religions.  With acceptance comes a subtle, and yet very important, shift in perception.  Rather than viewing an individual as a member of a particular group, we can see him clearly for what he truly is, a member of the human race, the brotherhood of mankind.


And, who is it that is greatest among mankind’s brotherhood?  Almost two thousand years ago, Jesus provided the following answer to that question:  “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35).  Whether you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, a prophet, or an ordinary person, the model of service to one another that he advocates is our best hope for peace in our world as well as our own personal lives.  And so, this Holiday Season, keep the hope and spirit alive, serve others.

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2 Responses to “The Hope Still Lives”

  1. Wishes to remain anonymus says:

    I cannot believe this. I was making the bed this morning and for some reason, that quote of Jesus you refer to at the end of your article popped into my head. “Service to others” actually feels good. If anyone doubts it, I invite them to give it a try. Give a bit of your time, knowledge, labor, professional advise, or money to someone who truly needs it and don’t ask for payment of any kind. Then see if you don’t feel like you’re walking on top of the world.

  2. Janis says:

    A long time ago, a very spiritual person told me that I needed to live my life in the service of others. At the time, I did not understand what she meant, and balked at the notion of becoming a slave to anyone. Now, I think I understand.

    At its most fundamental, “service to others” is a means of elevating our fellow human beings. As the author of this article stated so beautifully, it is only by elevating each other that we move the human race in the direction its Creator has designed it go: forward.

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