Do you know this word? This should help. “Alacrity: “cheerful readiness, zeal, willingness.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2022). The Latin, alacritas = lively, joy, power. These definers cause one to wonder if the overwhelming Christian response to other people, bad news, needs, or difficult circumstances aligns well with this attitude. The Apostle Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:9-16, “Love must be sincere…cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
Perhaps the spirit of alacrity can also be found in the words of Abraham Lincoln writing one hundred and fifty-nine years ago, “… our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal… It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln. November 19, 1863.
We have just come through a highly divisive time period known as elections. Often more harm is done ahead of Election Day because of the relationships that have been severed, than the healing we hope might occur because of the election results. Subsequently, many are left tentative in their spirit, others emboldened for the wrong reasons. Some want to back out and hide away. Others look to lord-it-over others because of victories. Yet others are ready to fight and further injure a bruised nation.
It is incumbent upon us, the Body of Christ, to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and the examples of our spiritual forefathers to be ready and willing to now take up the banner of both our spiritual duties and national duties in order to be able to further these causes into the years and decades ahead. To rise to the needs of our church body and the needs of our nation and communities in filling the gap – the gap of untold stories – the gap of leadership to which Christ has called us and empowered us to fill. His Good News needs to go forward into all the earth. His love needs to be seen, felt and understood by our neighbors and friends as they see it lived out in our lives. His truth needs to be heard, but also explained so that the world will see His omniscience.
In humility, courage, faith, truth, grace, goodness, mercy, kindness, justice and righteousness – may our world experience Christ the Lord through us as we touch their lives with Him. In this season may every day and holiday truly be another Holy-day in the world. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13.
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