I SEEK THE DELIVERER
“And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’.” Romans 11:26
It’s right there in the middle of The Lord’s Prayer: “Deliver us from evil.” Obviously, Jesus knew that we were going to have a hard time handling this stuff ourselves, and that we were going to need some divine help. Unfortunately, most of us, myself included, seldom think that evil is big enough to bother God about, and that we should save the delivering for something of major proportions.
It takes the Christmas season for me to realize it’s not the big evils of this world that drag me down – it’s the little, niggling ones, the ones I’m sure I can handle myself. According to Webster’s Dictionary, evil is anything that causes discomfort or repulsion (along with a lot of other definitions that fit more closely to how I’d always defined ‘evil’).
Playing games such as, “I’m going to give you an expensive present and make you feel guilty or beholden,” and “I’m leaving you off the party list because I want to invite some interesting people and you wouldn’t fit in with them,” and “We’re not going to your family’s place for Christmas because I can’t stand your sister,” and “I’m just putting everything on the credit card and I’ll worry about it next year,” and “I’ll play the kitchen martyr and make everyone feel sorry for me,” and “I’m not giving you a gift this year because you gave me a cheap little gift last year”….all these games cause me discomfort and repulsion.
There is a litany that has the right idea about the little evils all around us. “From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred and malice, and all uncharitableness, Good Lord, deliver us.”
That pretty much covers the whole gamut of evil that seems to afflict me and a lot of other people at Christmas time. I don’t know what it is about this season that brings out not only the best in us, but the worst in us, too. Perhaps it is Old Dirty Face himself feeling the pinch of Christian love and doing his utmost to stamp it out. Whatever the reason, now is the time to pray for deliverance from evil – into love.
MEDITATION: Good Lord, deliver me from all the little evils that plague me and take away my peace. “To strengthen such as do stand; to encourage the faint-hearted; to raise up those who fall; and finally, to beat down Satan under our feet, we beseech thee, Good Lord.” Amen.