Read Psalm 125 and Malachi 3:16-4:6.
We read a lot in the Old Testament about God honoring the righteous (those who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly) and striking down the wicked (those who don’t do those things), but how can it make sense that God would put people in categories this way?
As critical thinkers, we know that there is no group of people who are completely righteous and no group of people who are truly wicked, but when we consider verses like these from the perspective of people who have had their basic human rights violated, it becomes a lot easier to see where this idea of purely “wicked” people would come from. It would be a lot easier for Israel to look at their oppressors and give them labels like “wicked” or “evil,” than it would have been to find the humanity in them.
For many, the coming of Jesus is symbolic of the world being shifted towards justice for those who have been treated unjustly. Keeping this in mind, how might those who have fewer rights and privileges than yourself view a holiday like Christmas? Would they celebrate the coming of a man who brings righteousness to the world? Would they resent the holiday, wondering how they can celebrate?
It can be difficult to see through others’ eyes and be reminded of the ways they may struggle in the midst of our celebrating, but it is an important part of a Christian life to recognize that even in our joy, there is a world that is in need of loving action.
Olivia Marenco, PCM @ ETSU