Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Oh, for courage.

But, what is my motivation? Is this anger? Am I taking it out in the right place, as if I have a right to take it out at all??

We "like" our church.

We especially love the Bible Study on Wednesday night, because God's Word is opened, and read, and pondered, and studied. We encourage each other. We go away amazed. Amazed at the God we serve.

Most Sunday sermons are good, for example, our pastor has been plowing through Judges...and while I noticed he artfully skipped that plow to other furrows in dicey passages, who am I to question what God the Holy Spirit instructed him to serve?

But, CHRISTMAS FALLS ON THE 25TH THIS YEAR. A SUNDAY.

And our church holds all their little cutsey Christmas parties on other nights to acommodate people. convenience. The big "play/musical" is scheduled for the 18th, a week before Christmas, which makes me suspicious that they are going to cancel church Sunday, the 25th. (they did this last time the calendars were thusly aligned, much to my shock).

I don't like nor appreciate the plays, musicals, and/or dog and pony shows. I ususally do not attend those. That is polite. I do not make a fuss. I just don't "play". I don't see them as worship, let alone sturdy teaching tools.

They will probably just slip it in the bulletin. But, if they make an announcement-----which they would do on the 18th when I was not there anyway, to the effect that there would be no church services on Sunday, December 25th, "so that memembers could spend time with their families..." if they said it out loud, in front of me, I would like to make a fuss.

1. What does it look like to the community (as we are called Arlington Community Church) that we are dark and silent on Christmas morning??

2. If one of my children got sick, and our DIL is having health issues, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. (and we have stayed home from church all week, with coughs)

3. If we are putting families above Jesus, then what, praytell does that teach our children??

4. If we are cancelling Jesus' birthday, will we celebrate it in April?? He was probably born in the spring, although Scripture is not specific.

5. Think about the Christians in China---they risk their lives to attend church, what would they think of us shuttering our doors for "convenience"??

6. Why not celebrate Jesus' birthday because that is what it is all about? Not a bunch of loud music, not a bunch of "actors".

7. Why not a simple service where we talk about Jesus??

8. or at least allow our church to be rented out to Mars Hill and show their service on the big screen??

There. I feel better. Do I send a nasty email to the pastor? copy and paste this list?

No. As Christians, especially women, we are to keep silent IN CHURCH. It says to ask your husband at home. Oh, goody. repectfully. peacefully. gently.

And pray. What would God have us do? We celebrate Jesus' birth, life, death, and Resurrection every day. On Easter---the much bigger holiday for Christians, we are especially excited, and thankful.

Mostly, this drives me to study the story again alone. And marvel afresh at the magic, the wise men, the star, the elements in primitive conditions...where God promised, and fulfilled His Promise to come and live with us. Immanuel. He came stealthily. Angels sang to shepherds...not in a church building.

Gold.

Frankinscense.

Myrrh.

A baby was born with doctors, without technology that saved mine.

A baby was born into a poor family, without conveniences like refrigeration and plumbing, and in comparison, we live like kings and queens.

The kings and queens of the story were bad. Babies died because the king perceived a threat from a promise.

Lord, guard my lips from sarcasm. We get so caught up in the gift giving...giving things other people do not want, in fact, stuff that will end up in a garage sale unless it is edible.

Lord, point us to how to celebrate Your Birthday. Not for our convenience, not for our benefit, but to stop and pause and remember the miracle of Your coming into this world, marveling at Your Plan to save us all. We do not earn nor deserve the Gift that is You. The commercialism bombards us on TV, movies, even at the stores. We are so blessed. We are so rich. Toys for each child?? Those toys break, and are quickly disgarded. Please help us give our children and grandchildren Your Truth that lasts and lasts. Please help us to honor and encourage each other. In Jesus Name. Amen.

2 comments:

joyce said...

Thankfully, our pastor announced that there would be a small service on Christmas Day. YAY. Small is good. I am so relieved.

Ron @ TOGBlog.com said...

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