You can stand on the banks, just watching the river, and think you are safe. The current is so strong, though, that the longer you watch, it pulls you in, sweeps you away, and miles downstream you realize you have been taken, realize you are gulping in water. 810 more wordsFolly & Current
Fridays are normally days off for me, but in this time of pandemic… Well, it’s just another Tuesday.
I did have time today to reflect with some colleagues about all that is happening and how Communion nourishes us even when we are not partaking. We decided to have fun and record the conversation. Believe me, there was nothing planned about this, so if it seems random, well, it is. But, it’s Thursday, so it’s a good day for random.
Text: Luke 10:25-37
Location: First UMC, Huntington
Title: “A View from the Ditch”
At first glance, the title of this article might make some cringe. We live in a society where for decades we have heard that there is a “war” on Christmas and we need to be doing everything that we can to win this cultural war.
First, it’s a disservice to combat veterans to refer to cultural disagreements as “war.” War is an ugly, violent, and deadly thing. I’ve never fought in a war, but I have counseled those who have. I have no desire to see combat or the terror that it brings to heart, mind, and soul. So calling this a “war” is just a way of trying to stir up stronger reactions from people and help them vilify (and thus dehumanize) those who see Christmas differently than they do. When it comes to dehumanizing our brothers and sisters in this world, I have only one piece of advice – STOP. It is a clear sin to consider those created in God’s holy image as anything other than human.
Second, if we are worried that Jesus is being forced out of the Christmas season, well, in many ways, we surrendered the battle with our money and time a long, long time ago. Sure, there are many who choose to celebrate the birth of Christ without buying into all the commercialism. But how many of us expend countless hours and dollars on the decorations of trees, presents, and parties during this time of the year, all while robbing ourselves of the peace and hope Christ’s birth promises?
So, if the battle is over and we can’t really participate in any “war” to win it back, what is “more important than Christ in Christmas”?
That answer is simple. Instead of focusing on putting Christ back in Christmas in our culture, let us focus instead on putting Christ back in Christians every single day.
John 1:11 tells us: “(Jesus) came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” Every time I buy into the warring attitude with our culture, I do the same thing – I don’t accept Jesus in me.
Every time I don’t align my finances so that at least a tenth of what I make goes to the local church, but spend even more than that on Christmas celebrations, then I do not accept him.
Every time I find some reason not to reach out to the stranger near me in the same way that Jesus stepped down from the throne of heaven to come and be with us, I do not accept him.
Every time I post something on social media that belittles a group that disagrees with the way I think, I do not accept him. Remember – Jesus is the one who ate with sinners, let the condemned adulterer live, and even forgave a thief dying next to him on a cross.
Yes, there is something much more important than putting Christ back in Christmas. It is putting Christ back in Christians.
When I do that, well, the other will take care of itself. Would you like to join in that kind of change?