9 things for Christmas

If you don’t have a problem with Donald Trump in the pulpit on Christmas Sunday, then you have no right to have a problem with Beth Moore. Nor do you have the right to complain about “taking Christ out of Christmas.”

If you are grieving this Christmas, grieve. God collects tears. God doesn’t rebuke you for mourning. God hears your cries even if you can’t say anything more than “help me help me help me help me.”

God became flesh; he is Immanuel. He knows what it is to feel sad, lonely, abandoned, despised, hurt and even dying. He bore it all so that we might live. Hold to that.

Mary wasn’t a girl. She was a bright, godly, intelligent, and incredibly courageous woman. The angel didn’t ask her father’s permission. Nor did he ask Joseph’s permission.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but if there is a leader in your church that is using the Christmas Story to perv on girls, then he is a wolf and a son of Belial. Please report him. Crush his head. No second chances. And yes, this happens.

I have no problem saying “Happy Holidays”; Christmas is a holiday; People carry burdens I know nothing about; And it is better to be kind than to win some kind of weird culture war, especially one that has Donald Trump in the pulpit.

If you say, “Happy Holidays”, you won’t be struck dead by lightening, you won’t take Christ out of Christmas, you won’t anger God – you will simply cause your neighbor to smile and say, “Happy Holidays” back. You’ll make a connection. For a moment, your heart will be lighter, and so will your neighbor’s.

There might be someone who will respond with “Don’t take Christ out of Christmas!” And then they’ll shout rather angrily “Merry Christmas!”, snort, and give you that look like they sure told you. But it is better to smile at that guy and ignore him than to become that guy yourself.

If you haven’t heard Andres Segovia play “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” by Francisco Tarrega then you haven’t really lived yet.

2 Comments

Filed under 9 things, Christmas

2 responses to “9 things for Christmas

  1. Z

    Thank you Pastor Sam for that last recommendation! I just listened to Andres Segovia play “Recuerdos de la Alhambra”. I’m no music expert but it was so beautiful that I was grateful for that experience. Just like I try to notice and be thankful for all the little “foretastes of heaven” on earth that God gives us. The feeling of the sun on my face, the embrace of my husband and the beauty of the crinkles near his eyes when he smiles at me, the scents of my dog’s ears and paws and warmth of his body snuggled next to mine, all the different colors and textures and tastes of fruits (one of your favorites too, I know!) and other foods and tastes, the flowers, the music!, all the different greens of trees, shrubs, plants…I believe God gives us these foretastes on this earth to keep alive our hope in heaven as our real home. To get us excited. I believe we can’t even imagine the infinitely more and unimaginably different colors and textures and foods and animal species…so many more of God’s creations we’ve never experienced before! And the endless bounty and joys we will experience there. With Jesus as the endless Light. No mind has conceived of the wonders He has planned for us. So thank you for the little foretaste of that music piece. In a very dark world at a particularly dark time and in my particularly brutal life story and my gradual restoration by God, I’m trying to focus on and take more time to savor these little gifts God sends us to remind us to fix our eyes on the endless treasures to come. And to give Him thanks for every one we get to enjoy on earth. Mostly I give thanks that He has assured me that through my salvation in Jesus this place of unimaginable beauty upon beauty will be my forever home one glorious day!

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