December 19, 2013
The latest news reports now suggest that anti-bacterial soaps might not actually kill germs…and that the companies that make these products now have the burden of proof. Seriously?! All those instructions to wash my hands might have been a waste of time after all? Just one more thing to erode my faith and trust in the things we take for granted. If soap loses its ability to clean, then what good is it?
Sounds like something Jesus said…about salt that loses its saltiness. That makes about as much sense as soap losing its cleanliness. Soap, by definition, cleans. And salt, likewise, is salty. Right? Well…
Christians are about to celebrate one of our high holy days. We have the world’s attention. We have an opportunity to demonstrate on Jesus’ birthday, and the season preparing for Christ’s return, the love and grace that God gave the world. But that’s not always evident in our behavior and actions. Christians (by definition followers of Christ), don’t always act very Christ-like. This week before Christmas we will continue to argue about who’s in and who’s out. We will stand in line impatiently rolling our eyes at the person parking or paying in front of us trying as hard as we are to finish all the errands. We will complain when people wish us happy “holidays” rather than Merry Christmas. We will insist on our own way to protect tradition. We will pout. We will hurt feelings and forget to apologize. We will hold grudges.
I guess I understand how soap might not clean and salt might not flavor…sometimes we just don’t live up to who we are and who we’re called to be.
My Christmas prayer is that Christ will be born again in each of us to renew our Christ-like hearts and shine the light of God’s love brighter than ever.
Let me also put out a plea to everyone who will be celebrating Christmas at your places of worship: please don’t keep it a secret! As I travel around the conference, I am amazed at how little information I can find out about our churches. If I want to visit, I will first look to the internet to find an address. If you don’t have a website, then I would have a hard time knowing anything about what’s happening. If I call, will I find your outgoing message up to date? Do you post a sign in the church lawn with the time of special holiday services? God’s greatest gift is meant to be shared…make sure that everyone, especially those without a church home, will know where they can find the gift with their name on it. Short on technology, or in spite of it…a personal invitation is always the BEST!
Connected in Christ,
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (I Cor. 13:1-8)