"When the church loses its passion to Demonstrate Heaven on earth, we resort to holding demonstrations against it"
-- Don Sturiano
After leaving a wonderful church service during the Christmas season last year, I saw a man holding a Bible and an anti-Santa Claus-judgment type sign standing on a corner downtown.
I decided to pull over to ask him how much fruit has come from his efforts and how many people he has won to the Lord. He refused to answer my questions but rather started to respond with what was clearly going to be "religious rhetoric". So I politely ended the conversation, told him that Jesus loves him and left to have lunch.
Recently I observed on social media from numerous professing Christians their indignation stemming from red coffee cups that no longer had snowflakes and snowmen on them. When did the message of Jesus Christ change from a Gospel of Love to a gospel of outrage? And then wonder why the world mocks the church!
I am delighted to be able to boast in the Lord that in my 30+ years of being a Christian, both through preaching and one on one evangelism, I estimate the Lord has used me to bring thousands to Christ.
My precious brothers and sisters in the faith, I do not believe we are a witness for Christ nor able to win souls by telling people what's wrong with their Christmas. But rather by demonstrating what is right with ours. This is wrought through acts of love, acts of wisdom and acts of power, all done for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Glorious Kingdom.
Let's keep the Christ in Christmas by allowing the world to hear the sound of heaven flowing through us, not the clanging gongs and clashing symbols of a religious spirit. That spirit that causes us to think we are serving God by correcting the cashier for saying "Happy Holidays," who most likely is required to say that from their employer. Let's keep the Christ in Christmas by allowing the world to see us as a light that shines through the good we do, rather than a light that blinds through fault finding.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
With that being said, I feel compelled to campaign against those who are campaigning against Christmas - specifically some of my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ who may not know the true meaning behind some of the concepts they believe take the Christ out of Christmas. My purpose is threefold: to educate, to perpetuate our witness, and to motivate us to demonstrate Jesus.
So I thought I would focus on everyone's favorite; Merry Xmas!
Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. The "mas" portion is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass, while the "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, which translates into English as "Christ". There is a common misconception that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the sacred from Christmas by taking out Christ; this is simply not true. The use of Xmas dates back to the 16th century.
So where is witness in only saying Merry Christmas, then treating a waitress, cashier etcetera with rudeness? Simply acting like Jesus is the most excellent way to keep the Christ in Christmas? Here are a few ways you can do that:
Buy an enemy a nice gift this year. . .
Bless someone who may not be able to bless you back. . .
Reconcile with family members and estranged friends, remembering reconciliation is more important than being right. . .
Keep your witness when shopping. . .
Invite someone to Christmas dinner who may be alone. . .
Share your faith; invite the lost to your church to help lead them to The King of Christmas. . .
As believers we must stand fast that Jesus is the reason for the season, but also become conscious the Heavenly Father's reason for the season is mankind and His love for those who have yet to kneel at the manger.
Pastor Don would love to hear from you, please send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org you can also find him on Facebook@ www.facebook.com/pastordon.sturiano