Merry Christmas

To a few this very wish will be offensive, or at minimum, viewed with caution. Seldom does a day go by without someone crying “foul” at a nativity scene being erected in celebration of the birth of Jesus, or of someone “Tebowing” or mimicking a young, inspirational football quarterback who gives God credit for everything in his life.

Even as a believer, I find myself frequently offended at things done in His name. I’ll never forget my thoughts as a young pastor trying to establish a new church in Vancouver. While I was trying to hold Christ up as a savior and bringer of hope, several televangelist of the time appeared to have lost their minds. Oral Roberts claimed God would take him on to if he didn’t raise $8Million. Jimmy Swaggart took a public dive into immorality. And Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker ripped off thousands of their sincere donors. My thoughts were, “How could an unchurched community ever be open to the message I was delivering in light of this lunacy?!”

To my amazement, they remained open to the same message that has always been meaningful to me, the message of hope, salvation, and fullness of life; to a light burden and easy yoke; to an abundant life; to joy unspeakable; to peace that passes understanding; to forgiveness and unconditional love; to a transformed life and a life fulfilled.

Truth be told, there will be always be things about Christ and Christianity that will be offensive. He said very clearly, that he would be a stumbling block to some. I hope that you are not one who stumbles at the mention of his name, or at the behavior of some of his followers and allow those to keep you from hearing the message he came to deliver.

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