Living Advent Calendar — Day 21

Living Advent Calendar — Day 21

Dec. 19:

“If Christianity were only about finding a group of people that shared openly their search for God and allowed anyone — regardless of behavior — to seek too… a group that collectively lived by faith to make the world a little more like Heaven, would you be interested? ”

“Hell yes,” was his reply. “Are there churches like that?”
— Hugh Halter & Matt Smay

Have you ever noticed or realized that no one in the Christmas story, well except maybe Joseph, has much “religious correctness” to stand on?

Shepherds were known to be an unruly and untrustworthy lot — when they weren’t disappeared out in the fields doing whatever with their sheep, they were probably someplace else they shouldn’t be thieving something that wasn’t theirs from someone who didn’t know they were getting robbed.

And these wise men from the East. That’s the cleaned up version for Hallmark’s “sweet story version of being born in an outbuilding barely sufficient for animals.” They were clearly luny heretics with all kinds of crazy semi-religious ideas about astrology and magic. Think a bit like cult leaders.

And then there’s Mary, this young girl with the “inexplicable” pregnancy.

Only Joseph, of the house of David, might qualify as righteously credentialed.

If the Christian right only realized how wrong the primary cast of the beginning of our religion was, they might fear that Christmas itself or God godself began the War on Christmas.

So today consider that it’s never about who is right and wrong. But always about how much you love. That difference is how we so often get religion so dangerously and disastrously turned around.

How much you love is pretty much a direct product of how much you feel loved:
~ Where are the places you can feel yourself loved?
~ Who are the people you can count on loving you?
~ Can you love yourself… really love yourself deep down, all the way to those places where you know you aren’t quite right?
If you want to love Jesus or God or your neighbor or your annoying uncle Fred, you got to start by loving yourself. Especially where you are not so easily lovable.

Extra-credit: Read Psalm 139 twice today, with a significant time in between each reading. What’s this holy song promise about loving yourself?