Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's ok to say it

I was finishing a transaction at a store, when I realized, it is December.  And that it is kind, loving, and perfectly ok to tell the clerk, "Merry Christmas."  And anyone else who God may put on my path.

Saying something as simple as "Merry Christmas" is a reminder in our culture that there is something deeper going on here.  I am not just buying random gifts.  It is not just a retail holiday created by Hallmark and Target. It is a holy-day.  The angels proclaimed the good news, "He is here." And three decades later, the angels proclaimed even greater news, "He is not here."

When sharing the gospel, St. Augustine once said, "when necessary, use words."

I would say, "in addition, use your words."

Over the Thanksgiving break, some members of our family were able to attend the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, complete with full orchestra, 3-D glasses, music, dancing, and extravagance.  As the show progressed with great showmanship, I began to think that with all the hoopla about the season and the perfect gifts, it would take God Himself to keep someone from being terribly disappointed on Christmas morning.  I chuckled at the irony.

And then suddenly, on stage in full array, complete with camels, sheep, donkeys, and a suspended angel surrounded by laser lights, the nativity story was narrated in sight and sound, the account of the birth of Christ not made up or glamorized by a script writer, but the Scriptures in Luke 2 clearly read out loud. Nothing more profound than that.

May our lives --and our words -- point others to Christ.

I cannot summarize the good news of the gospel in two words.  But I can leave a reminder, like an unmistakable stick-it note, "Merry Christmas," every which way I can, in word and deed.

And the angel said to them,
"Be not afraid,
for behold, I bring you
good news of a great joy
which will come to all the people;
for to you is born this day
           in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

                      Luke 2. 10-11

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