Since my forced sabbatical I've learned to deal with down time in several different ways: Reading, meditating on my blessings, and when I feel like slumming, I watch a lot of TV. I guess it would be fair to say that I'm pretty much "up" on current events and to some extent pop culture. Much pop culture that I see only serves to take me out of a Godly attitude and moves me into the attitude of "how stupid can we become and still survive?"
The reason for this post is the sickening debate that I hear daily about the word Christmas verses the word Holiday, the banning of nativity scenes on public property, the word Jesus being removed from our childrens' "holiday songs" at school, and the over all removal of anything resembling Jesus in our Christmas celebrations.
I heard someone say on TV the other day, "If you did not already know the story of Jesus, based on the way we celebrate Christmas today....you would have no idea that he was ever born at all." Pretty strong words but true. I'm so ashamed that the 95% of people in this country who claim to believe that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, have been quieted by the 1% who object to Jesus. (my math is not wrong. 4% just don't care either way)
This is not a post meant to stir you up to be belligerent with your faith. On the contrary...I want to encourage you to live your faith in a more grace filled way than you ever have before. I do have a couple of suggestions.
1. Don't fall into the "Happy Holidays" trap. True, there are other holidays that we must respect...but ask yourself a question, would you be offended if a jewish friend were to say to you "Happy Hanukkah"? Of course not, you would smile and return the greeting and here's where you add "and a Merry Christmas to you!" We live in a country where our freedom of both religion and expression provides us with the right to joyfully live our faith. The ACLU and all the lawyers from coast to coast can't change that unless we allow it. Don't be naive, there are small groups who seriously want to see us shoved back into the dark ages when the mention of our faith in Christ was by law relegated to our homes only. They won't win but we must be aware of their tricks.
2. Don't become filled with anger and become in the eyes of the world exactly what they always thought Christians were anyway, people full of hate who are determined to rid the earth of all who disagree with them. The Word says we will be known by our love. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying smile and be run over. Quite the contrary, smile and never waiver! Never give in! Never stop living a spirit filled life in the midst of a lost world that is itself full of hate. We MUST be the ones who point others to the source of joy....our Lord Jesus.
It's a great time to be a Christian. The world is hungry for the message of the manger. The story about a baby who was born to save the world yet was sleeping in the hay that night. The most humble beginnings of a story that was to become the greatest ever told.
So use this blessed time of year to shout from the house tops Jesus Saves and He loved the world so much that he came to die for our sins!"
I think that's a pretty good message not only for this time of year, but for every time of the year.
All because of the manger,