• 36°

To do good for the new year

So many topics to choose from to write about right after Christmas.

I could write about all the good gifts and food and visits with friends and family. I could complain about the crowds and how other people’s gripes and complaints got on my nerves.

I could write about what constitutes good beef jerky or attempt a philosophical answer to the age-old Christmas question that apparently — according to the internet — plagues humanity year after year: Is “Die Hard” a Christmas movie?

My short answer is “Yes.”

What keeps coming back to the forefront of my mind, however, is the plethora of murders, suicides and accidental deaths that I have seen so much of in reports from recent days across the world. Life is not valued as it should be.

A friend of mine often asserts that people in general are inherently good. I disagree, though I wish I were wrong.

The Bible tells its readers that people are flawed, sinful, evil-minded and hell-bent creatures because our tendency is always to do the opposite of what we were created for — the worship and service of our Creator.

Just minutes ago, I had a conversation with a man who asked about my Christmas day. He said his was wonderfully quiet and uneventful. I agreed that mine was similar.

“People get so distracted with all the ‘Give it to me; give me something!’” he said. “They miss the real reason — not for the season, but for everything.”

“And that’s Jesus,” I said.

“That’s right!” he agreed. “It’s Jesus.”

It was with that in mind that these verses came to me. I share them with you in these days after Christmas, as we still celebrate with loved ones the greatest gift of all, the reason for everything good.

Within my heart a question lies

asking whether evil or good am I

As I sometimes do each

I shake my head and sigh

and ponder who I am

Friends say toward good my heart has went

But I feel a natural, evil bent

that, like Jekyll and Hyde, my soul has been rent

and confused me as a man

I want to do good, and I sometimes achieve

the sharing of kindness as I would like to believe

that moves me with purpose like the wind does the leaves

though I may not know the way

But again and again my actions have shown

I choose less than good when I’m left to my own

I, the chief of all sinners, with the Apostle I moan

and I attempt to hide my face

As humans we have capacity to love

to do good things, to give more than enough,

but we only get so far without good from above

clothed in flesh, he is God with us

In his time the blind man was given sight

The sea calmed, the dead raised in his might

With his blood we the wrong can be made right

lost without him, within him made just

As we step into the new year, I pray your heart and mine will be changed for the better.

Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.