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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, to all my Reader!

It is a good day, a Classic Christmas Day, a snowy Christmas day, the air crisp and chill, and redolent with the aroma of frying turkey once you get inside.All the kinder are here for the celebration and the quaffing and the opening. If the coming of Christ had only opened the door for this day, it would almost be enough!

It makes the angst of the previous month worth it.

Here is a Newsmax headline:

As America Celebrates Christmas, Rev. Franklin Graham Says Secular 'War' Rages Against Christians

In time past, this would have sent me to the ramparts brandishing a broken Welch's bottle to support my fellow believers, but I started thinking about this whilst in the shower. A "secular war against Christians"? What precisely is preacher Graham expecting? Jesus gave us a clew when He said "
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Mt. 10:24) He did not come opening the door for our eligibility for Nobel prizes, nor even the Key to the City. We should not expect the accolades of a contrary public, though our behavior and good works should merit them. As a Christian, you should not expect to rank in the public eye up there with the fireman who rescues Li'l Judy's kitty from the elm tree. Our message is one of division, not of amity with the world. The world does not appreciate the message of the cross. It barely tolerates the story of the Little Baby Jesus in the manger with the oxen and the sheep and the donkey and the kitty and all the fuzzy puppies, yet the mark of that Birth is shown across the world, as even pagan cultures have Christmas celebrations. Granted, they are St. Nick heavy, but in all the trappings, the manger scene shines forth. The Taliban even gets in on it:

"I’ve even seen the Taliban catch the Christmas spirit. In Afghanistan in December 2001, a bearded gang of Taliban fighters, all devout Muslims, emerged from Al Qaeda’s lair in the Tora Bora Mountains. They were dragging a Christmas tree for us journalists. If these Kalashnikov-toting Afghan fighters could bring us a Christmas tree, why can’t I wish you a Merry Christmas?
Walter Rodgers, a former senior international correspondent for CNN, writes a biweekly column." (The whole story is here: well worth the reading)

It is contradictory in its nature that a world so touched by a celebration of Jesus' birth should be so offended by His Death, but there it is, and Jesus said it would be so. In one sense America has been a Christian nation, and built on a Christian consensus, and biblical sensibilities. On the other hand, our president is correct: we are no longer.

Christians needs to get on the stick and do their job of making disciples, rather than haunting call-in shows, whining and expecting what Our Founder said we would not get.

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