My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What I mean when I say, "Merry Christmas"

I've been saying, "Merry Christmas" to pretty much anyone I come in contact with. It used to just be a pleasantry but now, I see it as exercising my rights of free speech. Now I say it with a bit of a challenge in my voice... as if I'm offering up a password to see if the other person is "one of us".... you know, those radical evangelical conservative Christians who happen to believe that Jesus was born in a manger, died on a cross to save us from our sins and is coming back one day. Or... maybe "one of us" in the sense that they respect the rights of others to believe as I believe.

Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion. We're bending over backwards to be politically correct except when it comes to matters of the Christian faith. Why is it so bad to be a Christian all of a sudden? Why are we marveling at the fact that a young man like Tim Tebow offers acknowledgement that his talents come from God? What's so strange about believing in God, honoring God... why is that offensive?

Jehovah's Witnesses have knocked on my door ... I don't believe what they believe... I don't invite them in ... I just take their little pamphlet, thank them, offer up a "God bless you" and close my door. I don't mock them. I don't yell at them. I don't try to take away their rights. I don't mount a campaign against them. I just believe what I believe and exercise my faith in the way that I believe.

I'm not judging you by celebrating Christmas. I'm not bible thumping. I'm not trying to belittle you or make you feel inadequate or unholy. I'm a sinner who is saved by Grace. I'm no goody two shoes. I'm not perfect. I've just learned the "secret" to overcoming all my shortcomings. I know Jesus wasn't "technically" born on December 25th... but that's the day that has been set aside to honor his birth. Deal with it.

I'm not wrapped up in the materialism of Christmas.  I don't go into debt buying up electronics and junk. It's a good time of year to do nice things for the people you love... whether it's a material good - or like my friend Pam who offered to take that little oil changing chore on my Christmas list and take care of it for me. Everyone in my life is safe and fed and comfortable and clothed. If I find someone who isn't, I'll take care of them to the best of my ability no matter what time of year it is.

Sure, the banana nut bread and sausage balls and fudge and holiday hams... they're awesome. I'll gladly partake. I love the lights. I love the spirit that binds us - most of us - together. I love the fact that we take a minute to count our blessings and gather with family and maybe, somewhere in the middle of it remember to honor the One who makes all that possible.

When Michelle Duggar announced that she was pregnant with her 20th child she was mocked and lambasted and ridiculed. There are millions of mothers with two or three kids who don't provide a fraction of the love and attention that Michelle pays to her kids. Millions of mothers who raise their kids on food stamps, medicaid, in government subsidized child care living in government subsidized housing. Yet a responsible mother who raises her children, pays for her children and ends up with responsible citizens who contribute to their community and world... she's a joke.

I think we've lost our balance. Jerry Sandusky molests dozens of kids and because of the reverence for a football organization, he gets away with it for years... We're holding up people like Snooki and a barely dressed Lady Gaga as role models... people don't respect the value of life... people don't respect the property of others... people assume that the government owes them a decent living... it's class warfare... war on Christmas... war on morality.

I'm just one woman with very little influence and only a couple of nickels to rub together. I come in contact with maybe a dozen or so people a day. I can't change the world but I can say Merry Christmas. And when I say Merry Christmas, I'm saying, "It's ok for me to be a Christian. It's ok for me to worship God. It's ok for me to pray - I'll even pray for you. It's ok for me to honor God for the blessings He gives to me and mine. It's ok for me to share my beliefs. It's ok for Tim Tebow to kneel in reverence. It's ok for Michelle Duggar to have as many kids as she wants. It's a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree.. And if you don't like it... that's too bad. I'm not changing in order to be politically correct." We've let go of too much already.

In the words of Michael Scott from The Office, "Happy Birthday Jesus, sorry your party is so lame".


Laurie said...

Amen Sista girl!!!!! What will children ever have to look forward to if we give them everything they want? And how do you teach dependency on God??????