Saturday April 19, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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The Fruit of the Spirit...Patience

Ministerial Moment
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December 1 is the beginning of Advent this year. This is the season before Christmas during which we prepare for the birthday celebration of Jesus' 2017th birthday. How do we prepare for such a time? The world seems to have lost the true life experience of celebrating the real Christmas. For one thing, we are not patient enough.

God had promised the Messiah to Adam and Eve right after they yielded to the temptation of the serpent, Satan in disguise. He had promised the same to all the generations throughout all of time, but equally the world rejected the love of God and His attempt to reconcile us to Himself. I say, "us" because we turn down the joy that Jesus offers just as did the people of the Old Testament, or at the time of Jesus. The temptations were and are so appealing. We want things right now, and we do not want to wait for them. Satan lures us with this impatience.

"Christmas" lights have been up since before Hallowe'en. The city put up the decorations on the poles a few weeks ago. And the channel list from Access is playing "Christmas" music for some time now. I put the word "Christmas" in quotation marks because one often wonders if it has anything to do with Christmas. Giant air snowmen mark our streets in front of houses, and deer shapes are on lawns. Some have even combined "Christmas" with Grey Cup and used green lights. It seems that we need to modify a protest song from many years ago. We need to sing, "Where has the Christ of Christmas gone, long time passing?" It has often been said that our society condemns the true message of Christ's birth as bigoted, while it enhances and encourages the lies about Santa Clause. How ridiculous is it to suggest that Reindeer fly Santa over the whole world in one night?

Even many of the songs have nothing to do with Jesus. They speak of, what else, Santa, or other selfish messages such as chestnuts or other foods with which we gorge ourselves. Advertisements on television try to lure us into buying expensive gifts that we can't afford to take to a party that we do not enjoy to impress people we do not like. Absolutely nothing of the first Christmas is in many of the celebrations. And yet, it is only the Christ of Christmas that will bring joy as we truly give selflessly. The happiness of everything in this world will fade to nothing. Only the joy of Christ will stay with us forever. May you be blessed with true Christmas celebrations that continue for weeks after Christmas Eve.


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