Tag Archives: christmas time

CC2: London

Cheers! We made it!

Yesterday was a fun day, full of just hanging out together, and then the 3 hour trek to London. We made it safe and sound and are looking forward to some adventures this afternoon. I believe that we will be taking a walking tour and attending a service at Westminster Abbey. I’m quite excited about everything.

Yesterday I finished a Christmas novel: O Little Town: A Novel, by Don Reid. It was a good book. I finished it in two days, so it moved quickly. It didn’t rocket to the top of my charts or anything, but it was enjoyable. I felt that the story lines were not super well articulated and that the ending didn’t reflect the importance shed on the separate story lines in the book. That being said, there was resolution that fit every crisis in the story, so that was relieving. Though I moan about the story lines being wrongly weighted, there were several separate story lines that were beautifully woven together in the last chapter. The general idea is an account of 4 different families who are facing a lot of problems at Christmas time, and one old man remember a Christmas from years past. The entire book takes place within a couple of days at present, and is interspersed with flashbacks to the early 1900s. The problems build and build until Christmas Eve when everyone comes to grips with what is actually going on in their lives and what is actually important. Overall, it is a good Christmas story. So, if you have a couple of days . . . sit back and enjoy!

 

CC12: Christ in Culture

My husband and I had a really good conversation tonight. It’s Christmas time again, so time for the questions about where we can and cannot have Nativity Scenes again. I’m not really going to touch the subject.

But, Jeremy and I were talking about tonight about how important it is for everyone, and Christians in particular to understand culture and how it relates to religion and life. This semester has been an eye-opening adventure for me in respect to issues such as religion, race, class, and ability. There’s a lot that goes into it, and because I doubt my ability to clearly and adequately articulate it tonight, I’m not going to expound.

I would like to mention however, the topic that started our conversation in the first place. The offensiveness of the Gospel. In hearing people get upset and raise issue with Nativity Scenes at this time of year, or many other things that seem to aggravate people at other times during the year (take for instance the Tim Tebow phenomenon), we Christians should not get up in arms, we should not respond with harsh criticism or anger, we should not tell all of the people they’re wrong. Why?  Because, the Gospel IS an offense. The Gospel does make people uncomfortable. It still makes me uncomfortable at times. The people are responding the only way they know how to without Jesus.

We’ve known that this is the case, we’ve read it in the Bible.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”  And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.  And he marveled because of their unbelief. –Mark 6:3-6

Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written,  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” –Romans 9:31-33

But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. –Galatians 5:11

For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
I Peter 2:6-8

So, just don’t forget. This is how it’s supposed to be. Not in God’s perfect, restored world, but in a world confronted by the truth of Jesus Christ. Rejoice in that, and pray for opportunities to share the offense.
And, on the topic if Nativity Scenes, isn’t this one beautiful?