+ + +
The problem of CHRISTMAS
Christmas brings with it a host of problems,
not the least being
WHAT are we to do with it ?
It is abundantly CLEAR that Christmas did not stem from what Our LORD taught. HE+ did not instruct us to do ANYTHING to proclaim His+ Wondrous Birth… even though the Heavenly Hosts proclaimed it !
No, rather, HE+ told us through the Apostle Paul to remember His+ Body broken for us and His+ Blood, shed for us.
HE+ told us to PROCLAIM His+ Death until HE+ comes again !
For I have received of the LORD that which also I delivered unto you, that the LORD JESUS the same night in which HE+ was betrayed took bread:
And when HE+ had given thanks, HE+ brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My+ Body, which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of ME+.
After the same manner also HE+ took the cup, when HE+ had supped, saying, This Cup is the New Covenant in My+ Blood:
this do ye,
as oft as ye drink IT+,
in remembrance of ME+.
For as often as ye eat This Bread, and drink This Cup, ye do PROCLAIM ( GK) the LORD’S Death till HE+ come.
I Corinthians 11: 23-26 , Courtesy of BibleGateway
We know — for those who care to look — that Christmas was NOT celebrated by the Apostles, NOT proclaimed by the Brethren, and NOT listed as a feast of any sort in any of the books of the New Testament, to be kept by the Followers of JESUS.
what are we to do with
the Problem of Christmas ?
… for it is HERE, and indeed a problem
for serious-minded Followers of JESUS.
The problem presents itself like this:
All worldlings “KNOW” ( i.e., think they know ) that Christmas is supposed to have something to do with the Birth of CHRIST. Even inmates in a prison expressed confusion to a Christian Sister who wore a habit as she worked with them, upset and confused that she did not “keep” Christmas.
Christmas was the sum total
of all they knew
[Realizing that it was better to maintain a consistent Christian witness with the little they “knew” about Christianity, she quickly planned an appropriate activity to point them to CHRIST, in a Christmas setting. Inmates are part of the hurting population.]
It is a season that brings PROBLEMS to a lot of persons … persons without any family or with such dysfunctional families that any family-oriented holiday becomes a time of dread.
Loneliness, sorrow from rejection or neglect, grief over loved ones who have passed away, depression over no money to spend for “Christmas” gifts and foods … all present HUGE PROBLEMS for both worldlings and sadly enough, for many Christians as well.
So, WHAT are we FOLLOWERS OF JESUS to do ?
We cannot change the “traditions” of the culture that we all have experienced in our childhood. People are left immured in the muddle of these traditions, trapped by emotions, wrapped in tension and fear that they will be forgotten — once again — by friends and family.
There seems to be a Great Need out there, to minister CHRIST JESUS to hurting hearts… and those hurting hearts are WIDE OPEN AT CHRISTMAS TIME … regardless of how we personally feel about Christmas.
Thus, Followers of JESUS need not hide behind closed shutters and well-draped windows like some do on halloween.
No, Followers of JESUS might rather be on the look-out for those sad faces and teary, wistful eyes they encounter here and there during this “merry” season of the year.
Followers of JESUS might rather make some inquiries around their neighborhood, churches, laundromats, or other places they frequent to search out the poor, the handicapped, the forgotten, the empty.
Then said HE+ also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
But when thou makest a feast,
call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Luke 14: 12-14, Courtesy of BibleGateway
Not everybody can have strangers in their home, at their banqueting table … but rest assured, there is SOMETHING that The LORD will lead the willing heart to do , to minister His+ Love and Good News to the empty and hurting at this season.
We do not do this in the name of “Christmas” ; that is simply the vehicle that presents itself to us, to carry forth the Salvation message of JESUS to the lonely and lost ones.
Hearts, for some reason,
are more open
the GOOD NEWS of CHRIST
than at any other season
of the year.
We minister in the Name of CHRIST JESUS, the ONE+ Who+ left His+ Throne in Glory to come to this dying earth to Redeem human beings. HE+ Robed HIMSELF+ in human flesh , with all its pain, in order to minister His+ Life, His+ Love to this tragic and wounded world.
The hurting ones
to know that Truth.
If we are forced to attend a family dinner, then let us invite one of the hurting ones to go along with us, redeeming the time — for they cannot repay you in either food or invitation for THEIR family get-together, for they may have neither.
If we cannot invite strangers into our midst for the family banquet , then can we cook a meal and take it TO A HUNGRY FAMILY, as a “Christmas” present … along with some literature to introduce them to CHRIST ?
If we cannot cook a meal, can we take a plate of “Christmas” cookies to the elderly shut-in … and visit with them a couple of minutes ? [ Stores have ample supplies of seasonal goodies, if baking Christmas cookies is a hindrance.]
And just to show them JESUS has not forgotten them, could we ask if they had any prayer needs ? Would they like a visit every week to pray and study the Bible together, just to show that this Follower of JESUS has not forgotten them, either ?
If we cannot devote the time to visit, then can we supply a JESUS DVD*** to a handicapped “friend” we just happen to meet ?
If we cannot supply a JESUS DVD, then can we send a “Christmas” card to an unknown neighbor, perhaps not a speaker of English, with a friendly message in their own language (found via the internet search engines) — and include a couple of JESUS tracts**** in it ?
If our neighbors are all Saved in CHRIST, then are we sufficiently supplied that we could include a $1 bill or $5 bill in a “Christmas” card to a homeless stranger we see on the sidewalk — along with that tract ?
If NOTHING ELSE presents itself for ministry, then can we dine on soup and crackers on Christmas Day and send the saved money to a Christian out-reach ministry like Voice of the Persecuted or some ministry where JESUS is Lifted up ?