As I finish the preparations for our Christmas Eve dinner (meat pie, of course!), and get ready for Christmas tomorrow, I am struck by the anger and divisiveness in our world right now. As we ran errands this morning, I was struck by the number of people buying cigarettes, alcohol, and juuls. Not necessarily the signs of people feeling the joy and peace that we are told we should feel right now.
So here is my take on what is going on right now. Christians are told that we follow Christ, but right now, a lot of what we are all doing does not seem to be in alignment with what we were taught about Christ in Sunday School. We were taught to live simply, shun material riches, and yet every time you turn around right now, you are bombarded by ads for buying the biggest, most expensive, least necessary things possible. We were taught to love our neighbors, but then we see laws popping up across the land that shun or allow people to be treated horribly for just being themselves. We honor a refugee (remember when Mary, Joseph and Jesus had to flee?), but we shun refugees… We honor a man who said to feed the hungry (and did!) and yet we are turning away from those who need. You can’t, I can’t, do both. You have to pick a side.
I often go back to Gandhi’s quote about liking Christ but not Christians. No, I am not shunning Christians, but I am stating that I don’t think any of us can call ourselves that if we don’t follow Christ’s teachings.
So, as we get ready, as Christians, to pause to honor the birth of Christ, how about we stop worshiping the baby who is so easy to love, and instead follow the rabble-rousing rebel who shook up the status quo?
As for me, I will continue to pick a side. I pick the side of feeding the hungry, loving those who are hard to love, welcoming those who need sanctuary, and just plain loving my neighbors.
What about you?