Mercy by helicopter is impossible

For many people, Christmas is the “feast of feasts”. Nevertheless, there are also many who do not celebrate it, either because they belong to another religion, or because they do not feel like it at the moment and cannot enjoy it. Where do we stand?

“God is good and kind,” said a mother to her child. “Just like you, mommy?” Often the love of God is expressed in simplified human terms. This is quite understandable. After all, how is a human being supposed to explain something he cannot not fully fathom? He has no choice but to use familiar parameters. Apostle Paul did the same for his disciple Titus: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3: 4-5).

God proves His friendliness, kindness, and love for mankind through Jesus Christ, His Son. It is with Him that mercy enters into the world. Everything begins in such a small and seemingly insignificant way. And yet, it is in the helpless child in the manger that the “kindness and the love of God” appears.

Christmas — the feast of goodness, kindness, and friendliness

The goodness of God is already referenced in the Old Testament: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106: 1). This goodness is clearly shown in that God becomes Man and shares in the fate of humanity, whom He desires to lead back into fellowship with Himself. And didn’t the shepherds in the field already hear this on Christmas night? “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2: 10). Friendliness and kindness bring joy to the heart!

And what about us? Friends are friendly because they stand by one another in good days and bad days, because they listen to one another and are honest with one another, because they share their thoughts and ideas with one another.

Christmas — the feast of love for mankind

God loves all human beings, even though they are all sinners. In fact, He stands by them and helps them back up. His love is shown in all everything that Jesus does and says. Jesus made it clear that no one is too insignificant to be noticed and supported by God. At the same time, His very person is a sign of the faithfulness of God.

And what about us? Anyone who loves human beings is a philanthropist, a benefactor—one who shares and gives. Give of that which you have to others—it will return into your own heart in the form of joy.

Christmas — the feast of mercy

God grants us salvation in Jesus Christ, not because we could have earned it through our works, but out of pure mercy. Jesus Christ turns His attention to those in need. He feeds them. He heals them—according to spirit, soul, and body. He takes away their fear of the wrath of God and opens up the prospect of glory for them.

And what about us? The merciful are those who are generous, compassionate, and devoted to others. Mercy by helicopter is not genuine. What is meant here is active charity. The Latin term misericordis means: “having a heart for the poor”.

Christmas 2019

“Let us respond to God’s friendliness, mercy, and love for mankind by following Jesus Christ in word and deed,” says Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider in his thoughts on Christmas. In concrete terms, this means that we must reject the following modes of behaviour:

  • egoism and indifference to the misfortune of others.
  • sluggishness — God calls upon us to work and make an effort.
  • Zügelloses Gewinnstreben zum Nachteil anderer.
  • unbridled striving for gain at the expense of others.
  • the use of physical and moral violence

Chief Apostle Schneider: “If we take the message of Christmas seriously, we will endeavour to resist all things that oppose God’s love for mankind!”

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Peter Johanning