… or perhaps a better title..
the post in which I apologize profusely
to those I inadvertently injured in my quest to be right…
I am ridiculously fond of Christmas.
I’m fond of the smells of pine and cinnamon,
of sugar cookies and cream cheese icing.
I’m fond of the lights, the twinkle, and the glow,
of flickering candles and evening drives through the neighborhoods.
I’m fond of the trees and the traditions
and the memories each year brings.
I am NOT crazy about that little man in the red suit…
quite honestly, he makes me twitch.
What’s that, you say?
Oh, you like him.
You have fond memories of warm traditions
and cookies and milk?
Ah, yes, your children,
they love the story of Saint Nicholas
the great giver of gifts.
Oh, but you don’t celebrate Santa
like you celebrate Jesus?
Jesus is King and Santa is a thing?
How does that work?
Please, I’ve judged too long,
I’d like to know.
Yes, I know.
I thought I was right,
and in my feeble attempt
to be more Christian than you,
I judged much too harshly.
This Jesus, Whose birth I celebrate,
said to me, “Do not judge, so that
you will not be judged. For in the way
that you judge, you will be judged;
and by your standard of measure,
it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NASB)
…and, it came to be…
I’ve been judged harshly
for celebrating His birth,
for developing traditions with my own,
for rejoicing with the angels’ news.
My Christmas trees are pagan,
the ornaments purchased for each child
deemed a waste of my time and God’s money.
Our Christmas tradition of helping
clean and sell toys to give brand new toys away
has been judged to be propaganda,
a way to perpetuate the commercialism
and the sin of Christmas.
…and, it hurts to be judged…
and I am sorry for judging you.
When I stand before this Jesus,
Whose birth I celebrate this time of year,
I desperately want to hear,
“well done, good and faithful servant!”
For too many years, I thought
the path to those words was the path
of rule obedience and rote memorization.
He came to fulfill the law I tried
to obey and memorize
because, in and of myself,
I am a complete failure.
He came to introduce GRACE
and GRACE says,
The two greatest commandments are these,
love the LORD your God
and love your neighbor as yourself.
Creating my own rules is easier
doing it His way is much more rewarding.
This… THIS… is my hope and prayer
for all of us this Christmas season
and until Jesus Christ comes again…
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body,supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Colossians 2:16-22 NIV