Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Manger Scenes and Holidays

After reading about

  • the melting of Arctic ice - as if the scientist concerned know all the cycles throughout the billions of years they assume this earth has existed;
  • six Las Vegas high school students shot after getting off the school bus; and
  • threats posted online between Denver shootings of Christians;

it was nice to read the surprisingly sensible wisdom of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland via spokesman Keith Dailey regarding the manger scene in state parks. “The governor believes that Nativity scenes are an appropriate part of our traditional holiday displays,” said Dailey.

As people argue about Christian displays on state property, I often wonder, what do people think the legal holiday is about? What would happen if we truly separated all things related to the Christian tradition surrounding Christmas from all public and government venues?

Oh, the United States is that strange country that spends astronomical amounts of money and takes a day or two off to live out the fictional story of a man in a red suit who lives at the North Pole. Oh no! The ice at the North Pole is melting. What will Santa and the reindeer do? We must start a fund to help Santa – after all, a major part of the economic health of our nation depends on this guy.

Maybe we should do away with Christmas as legal holiday all together.

Sorry for all those who already have to work on Christmas Day – no more holiday wages for you. That goes for all the plumbers and house repair people too. You can no longer charge me more if I call you to repair my drain on Christmas Day. Charging me a higher rate might be discrimination against my beliefs. I’d feel like you were trying to push your beliefs on me. Heaven forbid, oh wait, earth forbid you would take a strong stand about something you believe gives meaning to all creation.

If we throw out Christmas, we have to throw out Easter. And, well, all this makes July 4th and New Years questionable too. They are not Christian holidays but, you know, I just don’t like all the noise. It interferes with my spiritual quiet time. [Just kidding]

I like City Council member Chris Rodriguez comment about the nativity scene, “Personally, I think people should get over it and stop being so smug about their rights. It’s freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.”

If you don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God, then the decorations including a celebration of his birth should be no different to you than decorations of Santa Claus. Oh, sorry, that is unless your religious convictions are somehow tied to that guy.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems there would be no Christmas holiday if Christians weren’t celebrating the birth of Jesus. So even if you don’t like it, may I suggest you worship that manger scene for the paid day off or holiday wage it gives you and the philanthropy of all people this time of year.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. ~ Luke 2:8-14 (MSG)

The good news is for all people. That’s why I celebrate His birth.

Click here to read the Biblical account of this baby we celebrate.

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the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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