Friday, December 17, 2010

Stepping into the light

I'm tired of Christians skulking around as though they had something to be ashamed of.

No one acts embarrassed when they place a metal or wood statue prominently in their house or office, hoping it provides tranquility. Nobody gets too excited when an acquaintance mentions their trip to a Zen spa or Buddhist retreat, either. Suddenly, it's popular to talk about the "the god within," or "Myself as god." Knowing myself and others as I do, that seems like scary storytelling... and truly creative fiction.

I've been reading historical documents - including politics and culture - from the turn of the C20 century to about 1920. Without apology, politicians, teachers, and community leaders referred to their faith in Jesus Christ as an anchor, their source of wisdom and knowledge, and the basis for justice and a healthy society. The American Presidents extolled Christianity. They prayed for the nation out loud, front and center, without generating scorn and suspicion from the news media, coworkers, or onlookers.

But tell someone today that you're singing in a Christmas production or volunteering at church? It's like you fell off the turnip truck and contracted a red-neck contagion that could wipe out civilization and drive us backward into the Dark Ages.

Silly us. We're hoarding precious treasure that provides meaning and safety, peace and forgiveness, renewal and joy. In other words, we have access to everything people say they're looking for. God's promise to us and for our children is that our Heavenly Father will take care of his own. He sent his only Son to make peace between Creator and creations. He came in power, helplessness, supernaturally and mysteriously became "God with us."

If anyone's asking, my hand's up with an answer to his generous offer: "Pick me! Pick me! I accept! A relationship with you is what I want this season. Thank you for all you've done, God."

Let's proclaim the Good News, stepping into the light and bringing others with us this Christmas.

Read more:
*The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. Isaiah 9:2-3 NIV

*Arise, shine; for your light has come! and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. 

The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.

Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. Isaiah 60:1-5 NKJV

*Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 

On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 NIV

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