This is my version of a Christmas message:
I get it. If I lived in a region of melting pot religions like they do in India (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and others), where I’m not consistently getting reinforcement for what I believe about my own Christian faith, it would be hard to stay strong on the conclusions I’ve reached about my faith. Not because I don’t have the conviction—I do—but because as it is I struggle in my own country just by virtue of being around too much activity not centered on God. I quickly succumb to my environment.
Here in America, we have our own melting pot—in the form of a carnival of distractions tailor-made for anyone who doesn’t want to walk with God, or even think about Him. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18). And one notices there are plenty of fools at the carnival, inclined to sweet-talking us into joining them in their downward way of life. Incidentally, I’m not a part of the carnival anymore; I just sometimes act the part. That’s why so often I intentionally recede from crowds who aren’t Jesus-followers and surround myself with people who are. I need them. Actually, it’s more than that: I belong to them, and they to me (Rom 12:4-5).
We Christians are blessed to have had the opportunity to come to saving faith in this great country of ours—a country so clearly founded on the God of all Creation (for confirmation see the Declaration of Independence) and teeming with brothers and sisters who know that the message of the cross is never foolishness to God’s children; it is, rather, alive and well—like our Savior Himself—and what keeps this nation going. And that message, which we are expressly here to deliver, is the most important thing in life. It tells of a God who loves us so much that He chose His Son to be born into foretold conditions, at a predetermined place and time in history, for the purposes of rescuing us from what is wrong with us and taking the willing back to Heaven to live with Him there forever. That is the heart of the Christmas message as I see it.
I am an unabashed patriot. And appreciative though I am of where I come from, I also believe I would have come to Christ no matter what country I was born to. That’s because I can say what every one of the 7.7 billion of us can say, in truth: no matter where I am, through the light and dark of what this world offers, a pursuing God will find me. It’s up to me to choose to find Him back (Rom 1:18-20; 1 Tim 2:4-5).
Merry Christmas, world.
I hope this encourages you today to share the good news of our Savior’s birth.
(Christmas message referenced above: Is 7:14; Mic 5:2; Mt 1:18-2:6; Lk 2; Gal 4:4-5; Rom 6:23; 1 Th 4:16-17)
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