Over the more than five decades of my life I have had more than ample opportunity to examine the way Christmas is celebrated. It has grown from the appreciation of Jesus becoming incarnate and early morning services to extreme commercialization. And while there is nothing wrong with the exchange of gifts and sitting around the table with for a well prepared feast I wonder what would happen if this Christmas there would be a focus on the true reason for the season.
John 3:16 clearly shows an expression of God’s love. There was a divide between God and man by reason of man’s sin. For centuries God worked on His plan to bridge that divide. It would take a sacrifice that only the Godhead could make. It meant that God would have to send His only begotten Son into the world as the way to restore a broken relationship. This meant that the Son would have to lay aside somewhat of His attributes of Deity in order to walk with man. This Christmas is no different than that first celebration of the Christ more than two thousand years ago.
So, this Christmas it might be prudent to consider the restorative power of the incarnate Christ. Consider how absolute healing can be secured if that same Christ was born afresh in our hearts. No, there is no suggestion that families should remain apart rather the converse is the case. You see Christ came to restore a broken relationship. In this is the ministry of Christ, restoration. It is also a ministry that should be celebrated within families as there are many broken families. These gaps need to be bridged in that the ministry of reconciliation should reside in us all. This Christmas can be a Christmas of healing which reaches far beyond immediate families.
This Christmas let restoration reach beyond families into our communities. Once the healing of restoration begins in families then communities will begin to feel the impact. The reciprocation will not stop there instead neighborhoods, cities and states will begin to understand what restoration is about. Now, this will not be an easy move in that it will require significant sacrifice. Consider the sacrifice of Immanuel. He had to leave everything He knew in order to restore brokenness. It was not easy yet the challenge did little to prevent this Holy One from humbling himself in order to reach out to man in the form of man. This is reconciliation. This is the story of Christmas. This Christmas let us reach out to heal and restore even when convenience is not in order. This Christmas let us keep the Christ of reconciliation in Christmas.
Many may remember that then Senator Barack Obama took to the campaign trail and ran in great part as the President who will finally bring everyone together. There would be no more divisions predicated upon the idea of “race” as this half Black (perhaps true African-American) and half White man would understand the plight of all and be able to find ground whereupon all would be on a level playing field. Many voted for this future President because they thought him to be the one uniquely able to unite all and that he would be the very one for the downcast, downtrodden and the broken. Many of the same voters have since had buyer’s remorse.
However this nation has not been so divided since the Civil War. Some might recall the feigned war on women fighting against those who see every human life as precious; even the unborn children. This divide was not to be outdone by those who touted the unfairness of the riches of the so called one percent causing deeper and widening divides among the populace. Our President has also weighed in on divides among the people groups of the land turning young against old and Black against White. Some might recall how one set of police In Massachusetts were said to have acted “stupidly” in one case and how Travon Martin might look like the President. Now the police are under attack by not just the President but also Attorney General Eric Holder and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Of course we can’t leave race baiters Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson from the equation. Additionally to ignore SEIU, which might be behind some of the latest protests would be remiss.
The fact of the matter is that this country cannot be destroyed from the outside. It must be destroyed from within. In order to fundamentally change this country there must be multiple divides and attacks against the very founding of this country. The pretense that our Founders were racist from the onset and that equality for all meant leaving out certain others does very little to bridge real gaps in this wonderful country. Most people in this nation are not racist rather are a loving people that want nothing more than to live peaceably with all in as much as possible. This sentiment has been made evident by many yet there are those such as Sharpton that make a living by dividing an otherwise loving people.
It is past time this country began to lay aside the resounding hateful rhetoric of those that seek only riches by dividing the masses. It is time that all men, women, boys and girls reach for the reality that they, as individuals, are fearfully and wonderfully made. These United States are one nation under the True and Living God and this nation cannot and should not lay down its Judeo-Christian founding and values. Instead individuals need to reconcile with God and serve God without fear of a tyrannical government that further seeks to divide a Christian nation from the God of all. As a nation mere idiosyncratic ideologies need to give way to the freedom provided by the Constitution with a limited government. This is to say this nation needs to return to the roots of freedom provided by biblical and constitutional standards.
The fact is that divides seek only to destroy a people. Consider, for instance, divorce. This is among the most hateful divides against any people. It tears at all involved normally because of selfish reasons. The hurt and pain can last for years while tearing at the family economic status. Things are not much different when a nation is torn apart. Very few prosper when a nation tears from itself. The converse is that when a nation comes together many good things happen. Love begins to abound while those that seek hatred are minimized. People work together no matter the complexion of their skin. Peace becomes the order of the day while families and communities grow stronger because of a diminishing divide.
So, Mr. Sharpton, Mr. Jackson, Mr. de Blasio, Mr. Holder and Mr. President you are urged to stop the divide. Your words and actions have been divisive at the very least. This country needs leadership that will strengthen the common factor we all enjoy. That factor is freedom. We need the freedom of the law, which is the Constitution to let this nation stand. We need the freedom of worship. We need to be free from the false narrative of all things racist so that we can all join hand-in-hand as a people indivisible standing for the liberty that Christ has prepared for us all.