Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Xmas Holiday

Not sure which is funnier, Macy refusing to look or Laney posing!

this is for us who are Christ followers...

Went to the mall today for Macy to have a physical therapy session there.  A nice gentleman held the door open for me as I carried Macy and held Laney's hand hurrying inside.  Must have seen I needed help, which was very thoughtful.  As we walked through the door I said, "Thank you.  We hope you have a wonderful holiday."  He humphed, sounded like a scary growl, and replied, "I will have a Merry Christ-mas thank you very much."  And he said Christ mas not Christmas.

I am all about keeping Christ in Christmas, but I am positive this doesn't begin or end with words.

How many Christians who are angry about the words Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings go into extreme debt to purchase gifts, fret over the perfect Christmas outfit and picture of our family, spend hours waiting to sit a child on Santa's lap, busy ourselves with so many things during December we don't even read the 20 verses in Luke, that take all of 5 minutes if you are a slow reader to read, that are the story of Christmas?

The words are not the problem.  The words are not what makes Christmas in our country so far from what it should be.

There was nothing Christlike about this gentleman's response to me.  He didn't know that I am a believer, even though he might have an idea after I looked him square in the eye and said, "Well I hope that you do celebrate Jesus birth every day and may the grace of God go with you today."  I even said it without the sarcastic voice that my head was saying it with and I really do hope that he does.

Because this guy isn't really the problem.  He is just giving a conditioned response.  Someone taught him to be angry about that, and I would guess it wasn't Jesus.  If I had not been a Christ follower, this fellow's statement would have made me think that once you become a Christian, Jesus makes you rude.

Don't misunderstand, I do know that there is a time to stand up for what you believe.  But how about we try being what we believe instead?

Becoming humble like a baby in a manger.
Spending time learning in our temple.
Getting dirty with some mud and a blind guy.
Touching and speaking to a bleeding woman who is a complete stranger.
Standing silent as we are spit on, called names, and whipped by our enemies.
Sacrificing our lives daily.

What would God's world look like if we did?

One of the thoughts that ran through my mind so often as I walked through Africa was How did it get this way?  How in the 21st century do people live like this?  How did the church let it get this bad?  This kind of poverty, disease, lack of humanity, hopelessness didn't just happen over night.  I also don't believe that God is blessing the United States and other areas of the world and cursing Africa for some type of sin.  I can't put my finger on exactly what it is that led to this, but I am pretty sure that this guy's anger over my greeting has something to do with it.

We spend more time protecting beliefs that living as if we really believe.

We spend more time arguing with people who we see as different than us than we do caring if they feel loved and wanting them to know Jesus.

We spend more time being worldly than we do being Christlike.

And that just makes me sad.  Makes me want to change the church.  Makes me excited when I meet people who are changing the church.  Makes me motivated to become uncomfortable every day in my faith and share my life with others.  Makes me want to be more like Jesus.

Because I am convinced if we all put Jesus first, others second, and ME last, God's world could become heaven on earth.  God could be glorified in our lives.  In our church.  In our schools.  In our country.  In Africa.  

Wouldn't that be a Merry Christmas?


1 comment:

  1. Wow, this was so perfect to read today. Amy F. sent me to your site. Thank you.