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Oppressive regime in me

December 24th, 2003 · No Comments

Chains shall he break
for the slave is our brother
and in his name
all oppression shall cease

“O Holy Night” is one of my favorite Christmas carols. I love the rich lyrics, especially the multiple verses. This particular stanza speaks strong to me this year.

There’s a lot of talk in the world about slavery and oppression. Lots of news about nations around the world that have oppressive regimes. It can be debated what that means, which places those are indeed, but nevertheless, there are many countries filled with suffering people. America is a country with slavery clearly as a part of its past, and it has taken many years for racial oppression to begin to be broken.

There are also oppressive relationships. Abusers, rapists, murderers. Painful families. Manipulation, liars and cheaters. Open up the paper and immediately at least one or two articles about this kind of slavery will appear, sometimes destroying a company or an industry or sometimes hurting a family.

What I’ve realized though is that there is an oppressive regime inside me. Through this year I’ve seen in new ways how I do things that are wrong and hurt others. I’ve enslaved others and I’ve been enslaved. I’ve started to see more of the chains inside me. I can point my finger at dictators and countries, policies and people. I can look at lawbreakers or accuse others in my life. But the biggest oppressor I can see is me.

And this year I’ve experienced a little more what it means when the carol sings “chains shall he break…” It’s amazing to think that a little baby boy was born to break big chains. But he did. I know it. I know him.

And I do believe that someday “all oppression shall cease.” Seems hard to believe looking at the world this Christmas Eve, or even looking inside me and my life, but I know it is true. It will be true. I hope.

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