Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The War On Everyone

A few weeks ago one of my invisible friends shared an email her aunt received from a minister's wife. It's a letter from Jesus and it's brilliant.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

Dear Children,

It has come to my attention that many you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. . . although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. Not just during Christmas time, but all through the year. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the president complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sends out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family? Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions and words that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:


If that doesn't just shut up everyone from the ACLU to James Dobson, I don't know what will. Because really, isn't it enough someone smiles and is pleasant to you and treats you like a human being and not simply a transaction? And I've been re-reading my New Testament and NO WHERE does it say in any of the gospels: "And lo' thou shall go out amongst strangers and speak unkindly if they do not recognize you as my follower" Nor are there teachings about becoming a "Bully For Jesus". But my New Testament left out a lot of the crap these hypocrites spew. (Why yes I am as intolerant of them as they are me but I don't want to throw them in jail or take their kids away from them, I just want them to STFU)

So who's more Christlike? The overworked clerk behind the counter at the post office who smiles for the 500th time that day and says: "Happy Holidays!" or the smug church lady who delivers a lecture about what a devote Christian she is and how dare someone take the Christ out of Christmas.

So now store clerks (particularly at Walmart, yeah I shop at Walmart because I'm evil and a bad liberal like that) are afraid to offer a generic greeting. Twice in as many weeks I have had two shy and timid but friendly and smiling queries if it's OK to wish me a Merry Christmas. Now that's just sad. It would be ok if you told me to have a Happy Hanukkah and we discussed the miracle of the light and the oil after a terrible and bloody war. It would be OK if you wished me a Happy Kawanzaa. And then we could smile and remark together the importance of all the principles but how Imani--the collective of the best of our traditions--is really what should be at the basis of the winter holiday season in this country because rumor has it we have religious freedom here.

I wouldn't mind if you chirped at me to have a really cool Chinese New Year. The point being we looked one another in the eye and smiled while sincerely wishing the best for the other bridging anonymity for a few seconds. Because let's face it some days life is really hard and some days the best thing that happens to me is a stranger smiles and hopes after my happiness.

Just be happy during this dark and often cold season, k?


12stones12 said...

(Been meaning to leave a comment about this, but sometimes us Neanderthals have trouble pushing the right buttons) Good post, Laura. We could all use a lesson in love from the One we follow, which is why we need Him. It does make my heart hurt when I see that there is more harm than good done by actions of well-intentioned Christians like myself..which is evident. Sometimes we as men really screw things up by not trusting God enough and trying to do too much. There are times when we need to speak out and other times we would have been better off not, or simply say too much.

I sincerely want you to know that LilRed and I are some of those who sincerely hope and pray for the best for those strangers and those who aren't strangers: God's blessing upon them, and especially for you and the others we call friend... Sometimes we are better at it that at other times..

Love from your friend Derek

EdgyJuneCleaver said...

Derek, I'm really bad about checking for comments and I just found this today. Thanks for your words, thought and support. Happy New Year to you and yours!

PS I'm hoping to get to San Antonio for longer than a day this spring and would love to get together with you and yours over a plate of nachos.