Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas, The Only Solution

We live in a culture where we have values but we don't acknowledge that there is a primary source for values.  We have breathed in the idea that values are just derived from the majority agreeing and when the majority changes its collective mind then the value changes.  Right and wrong are not really like that.  Truth has been built into our universe and there are moral laws just as there are physical laws.  If society collectively decides that jumping from tall buildings will not hurt that does not make it so.  We are in crisis because we have gone our own way and declared that many things are good and right when in reality those things are destroying us and our souls.

The great social experiments have failed and are failing causing great destruction and harm.  But instead of being able to acknowledge the causation, we lay blame.  If we are liberal, then we blame the conservatives.  If we are young then we blame those that are aged.  If we are poor, we blame the rich.  The middle class blames everyone.

We are all more alike than we care to acknowledge.  Everyone has gone his own way.  We all have turned from our Creator.  When it comes down to it, we as a culture have turned away from truth and mocked the very idea that truth exists.  We have chosen our own way and we are languishing in our brokenness. The solution to our problems will not and cannot come from the Republicans, Democrats or any other group.  Jesus made it clear that He did not have an affiliation with any man made group.  In fact, He said  He was not entrusting Himself to any man because He knew what was in man.

My question is how many more people have to die?  How many more children have to live in highly dysfunctional situations?  How many more have to live with addiction and perversion?  How much more hurt and hopelessness do we have to have before we are broken and humble enough to recognize that there is a God and He has revealed Himself through Jesus?   There is an outside source of knowledge that tells us the right way to go.  It is the Bible and there lies true truth!!!

Jesus came as baby, that is what we are celebrating at Christmas.  He lived a perfect life and fought a war at the cross to deliver us from our sinful selfish selves. The Prince of Peace has come and He is now offering terms of peace.  It is total surrender!  All that I am has to be given over to all that He is!  Surrender, the true King is good and He is able!!!  He offers wholeness and new life where the Spirit of God will breath new life into anyone who comes by faith in Jesus Christ and repentance.  It is the only solution to our problems.  Jesus said, "You must be born again!"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Soul Feeling Its Worth

Christmas is almost upon us and each year I am always behind in the preparations. My daughter in law helped me put the tree up and add some decorations.  I have bought some gifts but overall I am still so unprepared by the cultures expectations.  As a woman, I think I should have already baked 14 different kinds of cookies, delivered poinsettias to the elderly, prepared homemade eggnog, addressed Christmas cards with a letter telling all of our exploits from the year, taken family Christmas pictures dressed in holiday colors and hand made small ornaments for every person that I work with. Seriously, ain't nobody got time for that!!!!

Real life in real time is still happening. In the last month my husband has been roofing our house.  That means that I am now personally acquainted with the Home Depot employees.  We both have been going to work and all of our other activities do not stop just because a holiday is looming on the horizon.

I think that Christmas can be depressing for many people because the season has been elevated to a standard where we think everything must be perfect, beautiful and have a touch of the miraculous. We can be so busy trying to make this a reality that we totally miss the point of Christmas.

My epiphany came several years ago while I was shopping in a Dollar General during the holiday season.  I live in a small town that is home to many folks who are just trying to make it.  On a gray cold day as twilight slipped into night the store was filled with people buying cheap toys and trinkets. In the middle of this fray the lyrics to O Holy Night played in the background.

 O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

I can tell you that there were a lot of weary souls in the Dollar General that day,  but most of them didn't have the ears to hear.  Our Savior has come.  Savior, as in the "one who saves."  The light has dawned; hope and help have arrived. That is the message of Christmas.  God came in the flesh to redeem a broken world.  It is a sin filled world and because of our sin we continue to break and corrupt and destroy.  Stop blaming God, it is the personal sin of people that causes 99 percent of the suffering that we experience.  The God of the universe humbled Himself and came as the Christ child to live among us and to live the perfect life we couldn't live and to die in our places to free us from the curse of sin.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

I can celebrate Christmas but it has nothing to do with my effort to create the perfect holiday environment but everything to do with the curse of sin being broken where I can now live as a whole person.  I can love, laugh, forgive, and be filled with peace and joy.  I can become who I was intended to be.