Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Countdown is On

In my last blog I referenced the countdown to Election Day, when our country would appoint a new leader. In this blog I reference the countdown to Christmas Day, when the entire world pauses to honor Jesus Christ our redeemer, a man who is appointed by God - yet is God.
And that, dear reader, is what so many people have trouble with.

I can't explain it any better than any other human being can - it falls under the category of "God's ways are higher than our ways." How Jesus can be both man and God is something the human mind will never be able to reconcile unto itself; it makes the brain go...tilt, tilt, tilt. But God said it, so that settles it.

God also said, "By faith, childlike faith", we are to come to Him. It's something so simple, yet we make it complicated. We embark in denominational wars and we pick apart baptism, speaking in tongues, what day of the week is the true Sabbath, how we should pray, traditional music or contemporary, a parking lot out front of the church or in the back, blue carpet or red, the list goes on and on... In the midst of it all I imagine God sitting along the sidelines shaking His head and thinking, They don't get it.

So many of us Christians spend so much time fussing about the small stuff, that we completely miss the big picture. We miss 1) that the time is short and people are dying without Jesus, and 2) how unattractive Christianity can seem to lost people - especially when we pick apart the small stuff. We are called to be doers of the Word; to go about doing good. That is our mission. And by "doing" so, others will see Jesus in us and be attracted to that.

My inmate friend, Micky, does not get to see a lot of God in action in prison. Sadly, in that environment, the adversary is more well known than God is. But in her last letter to me, she shared something that still has me smiling, and yes, causing my head to go tilt, tilt, tilt. There was another female inmate who I'll call Candy, who was very mean to Micky - picking fights with her and causing her to spend several days in the hole (a very lonesome, cold place that no one wants to go to). On one of my visits to the prison, I distinctly remember praying with Micky for Candy. I also remember writing to Micky about forgiving Candy and praying for Candy's salvation. Well, just last week Candy chased Micky down while out in the Yard (which of course scared Micky - at first), so that she could give Micky... a bag of chocolate chip cookies! They were "forgiveness" cookies from a retreat Candy had recently attended through Kairos. Dear Micky got to see a rare glimpse of Christ's forgiveness and love in action. And, she also got to see the power of prayer in action, too.

May you, too, get to see (and BE) the love of Jesus this Christmas season.

In Christ,
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