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Christmas Is Still Coming – Nobody Can Change That!

November 15, 2015 by

Soon it is going to be Christmas. In my faith, the Christmas story describes how the angels told the shepherds, “Fear not, I bring you good news, for a Savior is born in Bethlehem!” These same words are being said to us today; this should be our response to the terror that is being spawned all over the world.

Painting of the Flight into Egypt by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Henry Ossawa Tanner, Flight into Egypt

Belonging to the Christmas message are the well-known words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” These two things – love and light – should spur us all to action. There is something we can do to make a difference in this confused world. Everybody can love, just as everybody can hate, so let us choose love. It is the strongest power. When we love instead of hate, ISIS cannot touch us.

As our world seemingly nears a Third World War, the words of the psalmist David from 3,000 years ago ring very true: “Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.’ ”

The aim of terrorists is to drive fear into our hearts and to separate us, that we rise up against each other and against the Lord in mistrust, doubt, and anger. If we let that occur, they will have won. So let us unite and encourage one another, especially those who have lost beloved ones to acts of senseless violence, and let the true bond of love that encompasses all humankind come to the foreground. Everyone can do this, even our children.

Each of us is created in the image of God, and God loves each one. It does not matter what faith we profess. Let the attacks in Paris be a call to return to God and forsake our idols, as the prophets of old challenged us. Then God will help us.

We all need to pray for the families of those that died. A word of encouragement to the victims’ families: I am convinced that each person the terrorists killed was immediately welcomed into the arms of Jesus. Yesterday morning as I was thinking about all the terrible news from Paris I looked out my window. There I saw an incredibly beautiful rainbow spanning the Catskill Mountains and reaching right down into the valley where I live. I was reminded of God’s words in Genesis 9: “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” This gave me hope, and I want to pass this hope on to you.

The rainbow seen over the Catskill Mountains, November 14, 2015
Rainbow over the Catskills, November 14, 2015


About the author

Johann Christoph Arnold and his wife, Verena

J. Christoph Arnold

Johann Christoph Arnold was a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, founder of Breaking the Cycle of Violence, and the author of...

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  • I am with you, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, abounding in things that matter: faith in the infant Jesus, good fellowship, and wisdom to face the future.

    Macaire Osmont
  • We have always seen rainbows when waiting for answers from God.

    Lydia Lewis