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Archive for December 11th, 2016

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“Does your nativity have Jesus?”

I collect nativity sets, and was bidding on one. As the time came for the bidding to be over, I took another look at the online image to ensure that all of the significant characters were present, and I could not be sure that Jesus was there. So, I sent off a message to the seller, asking if her nativity had Jesus. The replay was that yes it did, Mary was holding him.

If you are a Christian, and if you are on social media, you have seen the posts that go something like this:

“lets keep Christ in Christmas”

This is a valid and appropriate comment, for followers of Christ, but what are we really communicating? And (more importantly) what does our communicating this really communicate?

When I see such posts, I find my head nodding up and down in agreement … then my conscience gets the better of me, because I realize that (for me) I am longing for ‘the good ‘ol days‘. You see I grew up in a time when Christmas was still very much about the birth of the Christ child. Even school programs at this season were about the nativity, or at least featured Christmas hymns. In those days you could still find nativity sets on the shelves of department stores. And this was the season that the non-church member found a seat in a pew.

Today is not the ‘the good ‘ol days‘ of old.

Today, as believers, we need to do something to communicate our faith, not just post words of disgust, or disappointment, or condemnation.

James 2:14-19 remind us of this very thing:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

Perhaps, rather than fill our social media posts with longings for the days when we shared the in the beliefs of the majority, we should actually do something for those around us that communicates the hope, peace, love and joy of Christ …

In Matthew 5 Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount, his magnum opus (until his crucifixion, raising from the dead and rising into heaven). These are the words that, as followers of Christ, we ought to hang on.

“you are the salt of the earth”

If we are the salt, lets start sprinkling love on those around us.

“you are the light of the world”

If we are the light, shine like we are reflecting the one who resides in us.

 

Does your nativity have Jesus?

Go spice up and bring light to the world, not with your posts, but with your deeds.

“Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
Fall on your knees …”
O Holy Night

 

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