Monday, December 18, 2006

"Christmas" or Christmas?

Letter from Jesus:

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that, let Me go on.

If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can and may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15:1-8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it.

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile - it could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local suicide hot-line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

9. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

PS - Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember,

I LOVE YOU - Jesus


A friend emailed me the above and I got a good chuckle out of it. But then I started thinking - always a dangerous thing, I know, LOL. There are a lot of truths in it. Yes, I know the ACLU and other organizations are trying to "shut down" religious references in public. Christmas bears the largest brunt of this effort because Christians are the largest religious group in America. (for an explanation of the ORIGIN of the phrase "separation of church and state" please look to my reply in comments section of Don't Drag ME into This!; 19th comment down, or so, with posting time of 6:14 AM.)

The Bible teaches Christians to "do good" in secret and to not be boastful. When did everything get to the point where we are clamoring for public displays of nativity scenes and menorahs and God knows what else? When did it become important which religion had more or bigger or equivalent symbols out there? There are other ways to stand up for your faith besides all this silly bickering that is in the newspapers every other day.

I am Christian, but I think my thoughts would apply to other religious groups. Is it my town's job to bring Christmas to me? Or is it MY job, as a Christian, to bring what Christmas teaches me to the world? A "Christmas" tree - not so important. A Christmas meal and gifts delivered to an underprivileged family - very important. A "Christmas" nativity scene in the village square - not so important. Attending a Christmas church service with gratitude and love in our hearts - very important. The furor caused because a salesperson is mandated to wish us happy holidays instead of Merry "Christmas" - not so important. Treating everyone we meet with respect, patience and a smile - very important.

Whether you substitute Chanukah and menorah, or other religions and symbols, I think it all boils down to one thing. Don't look at what the world "owes" your faith - but look to find what good your faith can bring TO the world.

Merry Christmas!

A small santons crèche that I keep out all year round.
Santon means "little saint" and is a type of folk art
from the Provence region of France.
For an idea of the scale, the sheep is only an inch, tip to tail.


The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

AMEN!! Thank you for the letter - it may just find its way into my Christmas eve homily. You are so right about bringing our faith to the world. I always teach children that Jesus came to be the light of the world, so that we could take his light inside us and shine for others. It's about doing - not talking and navtity scenes. My favorite line for folks who feel the need to bombard me with their chrisitanity "Preach the gospel always - use words only if necessary!"

QUASAR9 said...

"A Christmas meal and gifts delivered to an underprivileged family - very important.

Don't look at what the world "owes" your faith - but look to find what good your faith can bring TO the world."

Awesome Sunflower
Don't look at what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country or 'flag' could be replaced by - look not what the world can do for your country (or people), but what your country & people can do for the world ... Feed The World

Much is being made how many are dying of disease, little is being said about how many are dying of hunger - hunger for food and thirst for truth and justice!

Peace to You & your loved ones!!!

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Sunflower, every thing in life every single person is fascinating.
Little annecdotes make it that much more interesting and pleasing.
Here's wishing your hubby a Happy birthday!

Sunil said...

Enjoy the holidays!!

Sunflower Optimism said...

Feel free to use what you like, Rev. Kate. The "Letter from Jesus" did not have any attributed source. Hey - maybe it REALLY was from. . . stranger things have happened! ;-)

I love your line ". . . use words only if necessary!"

Sunflower Optimism said...

Thanks, Quasar - I agree, it would be great if we could take JFK's vision, and expand it to the world.

Imagine. . .

Thank you for the birthday wishes - he's a good soul, never complaining as we gloss over the birthday on the way to Christmas. Will try to get some photos of Dali originals along with some stories, after the holidays!

Thank you and peace to you and yours . . . and everyone!

HillCountryGal said...

Great suggestions!!!
And thank you for stopping by my place, via Quasar9. He's one of my absolute faves.
Nice to meet you. Come by anytime.
And Ola from the Hill Country of Texas.

Sunflower Optimism said...

Thanks for the visit Sunil. I'm sorry I haven't been by lately, crazy time of year. I sent you an email with a link for an article you might like. Thanks for the stoneth link - heartbreaking but amazing photography.

Thank you for the holiday wishes - if you don't celebrate Christmas, I wish that your own holy days are bright and joyous :-)

Dr.John said...

If I were still preaching I would also use what you have written.

Kat said...

This was superb Sunflower, so well said by you and the letter from a friend. This is the one for the book.

Sunflower Optimism said...

Feel free to use it, Dr. John, pulpit or not! I believe we are ALL called to "preach" our faith by reaching out in a positive way to others.

2 Timothy 2:20-25 speaks to this, for anyone interested.

Sunflower Optimism said...

Thanks Kat, high praise from our resident Publisher, blush, blush :-)

Now if I could only find something that speaks from my heart EVERY day, I might have a real blog going!

Sunflower Optimism said...

Hey, HC Gal, thanks for the visit. Your blogs crack me up - and get me all fired up and mad, at the same time! Never know whether to laugh or cry at the political humor.

The Artist said...

So well expressed, have a wonderful Christmas, best wishes, The Artist

Jackie said...

Sunflower - thanks for this post. Great sentiment, the poem and yours, and I sure needed the reminder right now!

Sunflower Optimism said...

A visit from The Artist is always welcome. Christmas blessings to you - and enjoy your NZ vacation!

Sunflower Optimism said...

Jackie thanks for stopping by - I'm glad I was able to "find" you this time! Yes, I need a reminder myself, as I'm girding myself to go out to deal with the "mob." Smile and be nice, smile and be nice, smile and be nice. . . LOL.

Velvet Sacks said...

I've read this post twice, both times while I was in too big a hurry to post a comment, and wanted to come back once more to say thanks for sharing this. The letter was wonderful, and the points you emphasized were equally good. This is just the kind of thing I've grown to expect from you. :)

QUASAR9 said...

Thanks Sunflower!
Best wishes & season greetings flowing back to you and your loved ones and all those around you.

Sunflower Optimism said...

Thanks Velvet - and I owe it all to you for your encouragement and for giving me my "big start"! I'm not very prolific, but it's been fun and I am so enjoying the community I've met :-)

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas and much joy in 2007.

Secret Simon said...

Thanks so much for the festive wishes you left on my blog. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!
(This is a great post by the way.)

Ordinary Janet said...

Merry Christmas, SO!

Desiree said...

Wow this was a great post! That letter really did speak the truth!

Mark said...

This is a very interesting post. What I get out of this letter is that there is a difference between calling yourself a Christian and being "Christ Like" or living a "Christ Like Life". In esccence what Jesus taught was to love!
Being more Christ Like should be the goal of anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ. It is too easy to play the political side of Christianty and forget that the goal of a Christian is to live a Christ like life.
This is my first time reading your blog. I am looking forward to reading some of your other posts.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Sunflower, Thanks!
I've got some conflict with certain
javascripts and active X
but I can imagine the visual link.

If Our Solar system is like a certain atom, then other star systems are like other different atoms.
And there are universes within universes at sub-atomic level and in our cells. In fact each one of us is a veritable walking talking breathing universe on which skin cells hair cells and many other cells live.

We've got one of those adverts on tv made by that guy who uses 'nudes' - and uses thousands of nudes, each one representing a cell on the human body - the ad is for 'vaseline' hand cream

Sunflower Optimism said...

Simon and OJ - thank you again for your good wishes!

Desiree - thanks for stopping by. Loved your ideas, also. We keep trying :-)

Mark - many thanks for your visit, also. Yes, it's the difference between calling one's self a Christian and behaving like one. Calling a rock a cotton ball does not make it so. I know many fine people who behave in a "Christian" manner who are NOT Christian! What irks me are people who are (for example) anti-abortion but pro-capital punishment. In my opinion, true Christians should stay out of politics and "render to Caesar, what is Caesar's."

Quasar - so sorry you couldn't see the animation - it was quite an eye-opener to see the similarities between the macro and micro - but I think you got the gist of it all.

To all my friends - wishing you good health and much joy in '07!

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Sunflower Optimism, Thanks!
And the same ten fold back at yah
Just from your blog name I can see
you are determined to always scatter
good cheer now and into the New Year

CreekHiker said...

Sunflower, Thanks for this thought provoking post. I just loved it!

Good luck with your family and thanks for your kind words. May you have the happiest of New Years!

"Angeldust" said...

Wishig you and yours a healthy and wonderous 2007 filled with love joy and laughter.

(sorry for my long silence, he not been that well)

Marion said...

Great post, Sunflower...thank you for the letter! Very timely, with beautiful suggestions for celebrating the meaning of Christmas.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

DaveM said...

Have a happy New Year....all the very best. D

Velvet Sacks said...

Are you there, Sunflower? Have a happy, healthy new year!

Ordinary Janet said...

Happy New Year!