Stop fighting…Do this instead
I think there are Christians who salivate over the notion of being warriors, fighters, soldiers. There are Christians who I observe that want to be in a type of “war”, whether figuratively or a literal type of war, fight, or conflict, related to what they claim is their faith. Although I’m confused as to how it can be over their the Christian faith when Jesus calls his followers to be peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers…” Jesus said. It’s right there in the Gospel. He said it in other ways too. Peace is a major theme of his. He led no army in to Jerusalem during Holy Week. He was unarmed. His was was the way of peace, always. Even when he went into the Temple and turned over tables and fashioned a whip and drove out the animals, it wasn’t an act of violence and war – There were most likely Roman guards all around and they did nothing. It is highly likely they would have acted if what they saw was an uprising or anything that looked like an uprising going on in the Temple. The Scripture is pretty clear that Jesus didn’t use the whip against any human – it was used to drive the animals out of the Temple.
In America we have Christians we seem obsessed with a War on Christmas. This year I also read about a War on Thanksgiving.
There is no War on these holidays. If anything Christians have declared war on these holidays themselves in how they observe them, or rather how they don’t. Thanksgiving isn’t even a religious holiday anyway, so I’m not sure what the supposed Christian complaint is anyway. Thanksgiving was created by the US Government. The intention was for the people to take a moment to express thanks. There’s nothing wrong with that and in many ways that’s a good thing. And that can be done in a variety of ways. It’s quite healthy actually and for so many we don’t do it enough.
As for the so-called War on Christmas? There isn’t one. If you think the war is based on whether you can or can’t say Merry Christmas, really? That’s the front line of the battle? Sounds more like you are just going around looking for a fight. Isn’t the spirit of the season about the birth of the Savior – known as the Prince of Peace? Why are you looking for a fight rather than seeking the Prince of Peace? Stop fighting. Seek peace.
There is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Thanksgiving. There is only a war within yourself. The side that is winning will express itself in an outward fashion for all the world to see. It’s an ongoing battle. Some days one side gains the upper hand and other days we allow the other to gain a foothold. We give permission for evil to trample all over us. Why though? Who knows.
There is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Thanksgiving. There is only a war within ourselves. Which is why we are called to be peacemakers. To seek peace within us every day. So that the battle doesn’t explode out. So that the war doesn’t flow out of us and impact others and hurt others. So that the war within us doesn’t become a war on Christmas and a war on Thanksgiving and war on anything else. We aren’t warriors. We are called to be peacemakers. Which is much harder to be. It is much more difficult to make peace in the midst of war when tension is at its worst. To find something that can bring hostilities to an end. To find some way to end the killing when there is low to no trust. How do you even do that? That’s what we are called to within ourselves.
There is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Thanksgiving. That’s the mantra we need to repeat, not because we have to convince ourselves, but to remind ourselves of our real focus – that we are called to be peacemakers. If we focus on a war on Christmas, then we have lost sight of the meaning of Christmas – the welcoming of the Prince of Peace. And we will have lost everything.
There is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Thanksgiving. There is only a call to be a peacemaker. To welcome the Prince of Peace and to follow in his way. And it starts with me. I invite you to this way to. Be a peacemaker with me. Wage peace with me this Christmas. It is what we are called to as followers of Jesus. As Christians we are called to welcome and follow the Prince of Peace. Stop fighting the war. Start living the peace of Christ.
My kingdom is not from this world… if it were, my servants would fight….
Happy Christmas and Merry Holidays, Pastor Matt.