Which, by the way, it’s kind of funny to think that our Lord and Savior would have the same problems as we do getting older. My father recently celebrated they 21st anniversary of his 39th birthday. That means JC would be celebrating something like the 1970th anniversary of his 39th birthday… um… well, if he would have had one.
Anyway, many Christians are up in arms about the de-Christing of Christmas, while many secular folks get offended if you wish them a Merry Christmas. Myself, I think the secular side takes things way too personally.
By the way, that tree in your living room is not a holiday tree. If it is a holiday tree, I want to see it decorated on 4th of July and Memorial Day because those are holidays, too. In my living room, there’s a Christmas tree that has been up since last Christmas. It has been a Christmas tree year round, not because it’s a holiday tree but because we’re too lazy to take our Christmas tree down.
In any case, all this hubbub about Christ and Christmas reminds me of Matthew 24, specifically verses 6 –14:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.Now, I’m not saying we’re getting close to the end times that are being described here. Don’t read prophecy into that. No, all I’m trying to say is that in spite of all the bad deeds and things we see across the globe, Christians must keep our faith.
9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
It sometimes seems like Christianity is being persecuted by some in the secular world. Things like “the war on Christmas,” or Christian workers being kidnapped in Iraq, it being illegal to say “under God” in the pledge (note: I’m not debating the whole separation of church vs. state thing here)… All these things make it rather clear to me that Christianity is being persecuted, which is exactly what JC and the Apostles said would happen.
1 Corinthians 4:12 says “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it.” And endure it, we must to remain faithful to God. After all, “Blessed are they who are persecuted…” (Matthew 5:10)
I just wanted to make the point to other Christians that they need to remain strong in their faith. With the world turning away from Christianity, it’s rather tempting to follow the tide. But the fact that we and our faith are being persecuted, like the Bible said would happen, should strengthen our faith, not erode it. Recognize that as Christianity faces these modern tests of belief, God will continue to favor His faithful.