Keeping Christ in Christmas

Keeping Christ in Christmas

The other day, I ordered a t-shirt online.  Not much special about that, other than the fact that I actually bought something online, without being able to touch it or check it for imperfections.  I am not of the “everything you buy online is perfect” mindset.  Sort of like, I’m not a believer in the Publishers’ Clearing House Sweepstakes, other than being a tool to make people feel guilty if they don’t buy something they don’t need and really don’t want.  That said, I bought a t-shirt, online, without inspection.

I don’t usually buy t-shirts, preferring shirts with pockets and collars.  But this t-shirt is special.  On the front it reads:

            KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS

                        FEED THE HUNGRY

                        SHELTER THE HOMELESS

                        WELCOME IMMMIGRANTS

                        FORGIVE OTHERS

                        EMBRACE OUTSIDERS

                        SHARE WITH THOSE IN NEED

                        ADVOCATE FOR THE MARGINALIZED

                        CONFRONT THOSE ABUSING POWER

                        VALUE OTHERS’ BELIEFS

I imagine there a number of additional lines which could be added to the shirt, but it would mean only very tall people could wear it.  Point is, a lot of celebrity politicians, religious leaders and fundamentalists would have us believe that there is a war on Christmas and the Christian faith.  The Christian faith was born in a true time of war on believers by the Roman Empire.  Those early followers didn’t raise an army to fight the Legions of Rome, didn’t seek to make the Empire display their religious artwork, and didn’t use their faith to denigrate the many other faiths around them.  They simply followed the teachings of Jesus which tell us that to be his followers we are supposed to take care of our neighbors, to share with them like they are our own family members, to love them like Jesus loves us.  Plus, they told people about this new faith tradition which values the worth of every person without regard for wealth, status, gender, position, occupation, poverty, slavery, ethnicity, or national allegiance.  And people came by the thousands to join a movement for wholeness in a broken world.  They will do so today, if we but find the courage to claim and stand for the message of Jesus while we challenge those who would twist it to fit other agendas.  Come, Emmanuel, Come!  May hope, peace, joy and love be yours this Christmas!

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