Saturday, December 25, 2010

25 DEC 10: What Day is This Again?

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find the following items humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath. And our "year-in-review" special will resume Sunday or Monday.)

The last 48 hours have been rather hectic for me. Laundry to clean. Groceries to buy. Poker games with money to win. My third annual "doughnut double-up" two-for-one special Friday morning at Golden Donuts. Oh yes, and blog writing to do for you. Imagine if I actually still was keeping Christmas....

Part of me wanted to be quiet on this Saturday -- but I feel compelled to respond to several of this past week's e-mails. I'll take the blame for starting this, with a joke last Sunday about a "Jesus birthday cake." Who knows how many families read that and decided on an upgrade from "cookies for Santa."

While adults in one small town accuse each other of lying, I have to ask us all -- do you practice lying at this time of year? If you told children Santa Claus is coming to their home to deliver gifts, you did. If you told them Santa is watching them constantly, you did -- unless you've changed the name of God, and think He's really a fat guy wearing red.

There are the lies we know, and then there are the lies you may not know. I've found evidence from the Bible indicating Jesus kept Hanukkah. But there's NO verse declaring He kept Christmas. The disciples didn't bring Him gifts as a grown-up. And while Jesus turned pots of water into wine, He never dipped into anybody's "wassail bowl."

A blog reader in Ohio posted a challenging Biblical analysis of this issue Friday. It makes several good points -- especially about seeking truth. Jesus called Himself "the truth" in John 14. Would someone called Truth appreciate a celebration covered with lies? Maybe this is why Jesus never ran for political office....

Some people say Jesus really was born in the fall. Others point to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which originally had this line: "In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea." Those lilies come out in spring, not December -- and the song was written long before FTD was some sort of texting abbreviation.

(I could make an even more blatantly emotional appeal to Columbus residents here - and point out Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas a holiday. Do you really want to follow that state's example?)

Plenty of Christians would contend they went to services Friday night and today to worship Jesus. Well, I'm doing the same thing - but under a different understanding. I celebrate Jesus as the one who said in Mark 2 He was "the Lord of the Sabbath." If He ever pinned dollar bills on His robe and called Himself "birthday boy," I've never found it.

So what's my point of all this? We all should take some time to examine why we do the things we do - especially traditions we think are pleasing to God. Let the Bible be your guide, and you could discover people have been lying to you. You may even find Lucy knew something when she told Charlie Brown about Christmas: "It's run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know."

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