I get e-mail from Sara Maxwell, alerting me to the blog post by Dave Hershey.
Let Dave tell it; first he used a Fox video, to show what he’s talking about:
What would Jesus say if he came to your house and had coffee with you?
That is the question asked at around 1:10 into this video. It is a decent question. What would Jesus say?
*“I miss hearing you say Merry Christmas”
*”And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
*”I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
*“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
*“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
*“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
*“You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
*Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’
What would Jesus say to us?
Hint: all but the first choice are things Jesus actually did say to people (Matthew 5:41-42, 44; 6:19-21; 16:24; Luke 4:18-19; 18:21; Matthew 15:17-19).
When I read the gospels, I find Jesus’ words incredibly challenging. What he calls people to do is uncomfortable, to say the least. I am sure in the face of our insistence that people say “Merry Christmas” and our offense when people do not that he would challenge us Christians to sell our stuff or love our enemies or something we frankly would rather not do.
The ladies in the video say they are offended that people do not say Merry Christmas. Offended? By that?
Maybe we Christians should get offended by things that actually matter, things that are horrendous evils happening right now in the world, things like global poverty, human trafficking and modern-day slavery and so many others.
Maybe if instead of wasting money on billboards urging people to say “Merry Christmas” we used that money to help those who are really suffering, people would actually care to hear more about Jesus.
The prophet Amos also probably doesn’t care if you say “Merry Christmas”. I’ll end with his powerful words (Amos 5):
21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Have a good Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/KWANZAA/Festivus, anyway.