Sunday, December 13, 2009
This letter and variations on it have been circulating all through cyberspace. Here's my version of a letter that offers much food for thought - and prayer...
(With H/T to the many who have forwarded this to me!)
A Letter from Jesus about Christmas
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of this season. Maybe you've forgotten that history isn’t really sure of the date of my birth. It was some of your ancestors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of a pagan festival. Of course, I do appreciate being remembered anytime!
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of their own. I don't care what you call the day: if you want to celebrate my birth, just get along and love one another!
Now, having said that, let me go on. If it bothers you that the town where you live doesn't allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa’s and snowmen on your own front lawns and put up a small Nativity scene in their place. If all my followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree. Don't forget: it was I who made all the trees. You can remember me any time you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish! (You might remember I used that image once myself when I was explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks are. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.)
If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are lonely and afraid at this time of year. I know: they tell me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. It might be someone you know - or perhaps someone you don't know. Those folks just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President to complain about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family and the decisions he makes in the new year. Then follow up with other concerns you have as they come along.
4. Instead of (at least in addition to) giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need - spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth, and why I came to live with you down there. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them. Tell them how much you depend on me and how you want them to learn to trust me, too.
5. Think of some persons who have hurt you in the past and really work at forgiving them – and, if possible and helpful, let them know you’ve forgiven them.
6. Did you know that some in your town are so lonely in this season that they feel hopeless? Since you may not know who they are, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile, a kind word: it could make the difference...
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailers in your town calls “the holiday,” be patient with the people who work in their stores. (They deal with all kinds of customers all day long!) Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary - especially one who brings my love and the good news of the Gospel to those who have never heard my name.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to your church or the Salvation Army or some other charity who will know how to get those gifts and food to those who need them the most. (Actually you could do this in any month of the year - even in every month of the year!)
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in me, your loyalty to me, then live like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in my presence. Let people know by your words and deeds that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of myself. Just love me and love one another and do what I’ve told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work - time is short! I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court.
And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those you love…
I LOVE YOU!
Posted by Concord Pastor at 5:00 PM