As the world around me swirls in darkness and despair, yet sparkles with strings of shimmering lights and smells of evergreen trees, I take shopping list in hand and head out to the local market to buy groceries for our Christmas celebration.. It is a cold, gray morning; drizzling rain, and a chilly wind sweeps last summer’s leaves across my path. I drive across town, fiddling with the car radio looking for a station playing Christmas music, but finally switch it off, because there is none to be heard.
“When did Christmas become politically incorrect?” I wonder out loud.
In my heart “there’s a feeling of Christmas.” But a couple of steps inside the store that feeling is quickly turned to dread. Shoppers move like zombies through the isles, pushing carts overloaded with food and drink. One young woman, list in hand, pushes her way in front of me in the baking isle. I smile. She glares. An older man rams his cart against my heels without so much as a “beg pardon.”
“When did Christmas become an excuse for people to act like stressed out robots?” I wonder.
Grocery list filled, I wait (gracefully, I hope) in a line that appears to be slightly shorter than most. But, as usual, having picked the line with a coupon-clipper at the register, I listen to the cashier trying to explain store policy on accepting expired coupons and the clipper demanding to speak with a manager. Weighing my options, I decide changing lines will only lead to more problems and so I stand my ground.
“When did people become so violently aggressive and demanding?” I wonder.
That’s when it hits me!
It has always been so.
Every male child two-years-old and under in Bethlehem was murdered because He was born!
Thirty-three years later, an angry crowd of violent people screamed, “Crucity him!” even though He was innocent of any wrong doing.
He knew what the world would become, and warned His followers, “don’t be surprised when they hate you.”
Prompted by His Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul warned his young protege Timothy,
You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people.__2 Timothy 3:1-5
So…my cupboard is filled for our Christmas celebration. I don’t have to go out there again until next year! All that’s left to do now is pray…
Pray for this lost, dark and dying world. Pray that all the pushing, shoving, unhappy people will come to know my Jesus. Pray that if they somehow make their way to a Christmas pageant or a service in some church they will HEAR the truth about Christmas, and His PEACE will enter each heart.