Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25, A different Christmas message

I would be remiss if I didn't address Christmas on Christmas day so today I am posting an extra blog.  No scripture reading for this, just some thoughts on familiar stories and perhaps one not so familiar. Thanksgiving day here in the US typically marks the big Christmas season rush of activities. It is for most merchants and manufacturers one of the most profitable times of the year. In the recent past so many Christians have been objectionable that Christmas has become so commercialized, but I don't think it concerns God. I figure that for the most part those profiting from Christmas are pagans and we shouldn't be surprised when pagans act as pagans. Besides the money spent stimulates the economy on several levels. This season is marked with a certain cast of characters, Santa Claus, Charlie Brown, The Grinch, Mary, Joseph, three (or more) wise travelers and the baby. Everyone approaches or approached Christmas with an agenda. Today for the capitalist it's for gain, but what's the reason for the Christian or the pagan? And what about the agenda for the people who actually lived it? Think on this for a minute and I want to tell a different story, I heard it once told by Steve Brown. I don't know if it's true or just an object lesson but I think it's good.
There was a young couple that married and as things happen in just a few years they had some children. The mom elected to stay at home and care for the kids and dad had a decent job. The bills were paid, family was healthy, things were not great but they were OK. But mom wans't feeling OK, she felt neglected and overworked until one day she just could't handle any more diapers or crying kids.  She dropped the kids at her mom's house and said she had an errand to run. Actually she left. When her husband came home he looked all over for her but could't find her. After a few days she called to make sure he and the kids were OK. He told her he loved her and the kids did too and they wanted her to come home. She hung up the phone. This happened each week until finally her husband hired a detective to find his wife. With the knowledge of where she was he called her to ask if she'd come home, she hung up. So he too took the kids to his wife's mother while he went to see his wife.  When she saw him she broke down in tears and agreed to come home. What was the difference? On the phone he just said that he loved her, but then he came and she knew it was true. That's what Christmas is, all through the scriptures God has told humanity that he loves us but then he came so that we'd know it's true. What's your agenda for Christmas? Are you looking for a certain gift? Trying to make a little more money? Joseph and Mary just needed to go to Bethlehem, the magi wanted to see The King. The TV networks are looking for ratings but what are you looking for? In all of the hustle and bustle of this season look at the example that God gave us, he wanted to say I Love You so He came. Maybe we need to go and actually touch someone and not just tell them but show them, I Love You.  

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