God Unswaddled – Preparing the Way for the Lord at Walmart


You know how when you’ve been married for a long time that there are repeat arguments that feel like déjà vu.

When those begin, don’t you want to say, “Can we just cut to the chase this time?”

The Rhode Island Governor is calling the Christmas tree at the state house, a holiday tree. Spectacular.

He has officially rung in the season for offense.

Bring out the tinsel, the garland, the radio talk show hosts and the tar and feathers, it’s Christmas in America!

What will bother believers this year?

Will it be the commercialism or the way we’re greeted by sales clerks? Will it be the rising attention given to Muslim holidays at the White House and the diminishing integrity of attention to Christmas? Will we be boycotting a business because their commercials are, well, commercial?

It’s stupid to call a Christmas tree a holiday tree. Not because it hurts Jesus, but because it’s Orwellian. Renaming things and saying something doesn’t mean what it’s always meant is straight out of 1984. It’s a tactic from the playbook of every oppressive, secular regime that’s ever staged a quiet coup.

But does it take the Christ out of Christmas? Not at my house, baby.

And have any of these regimes managed to snuff out the spirit of Christ in their land? Not in the long run. Jesus and His followers have outlasted them every time.

So, I propose we break with the most recent trending Christmas tradition and skip being offended this year. Skip the horrified indignation. It’s even Biblical according to Proverbs 19:11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

How about this? Before you lecture that pimple-faced kid in a Walmart apron about the real reason for the season, ask yourself if you’ve ever concerned yourself for five minutes about the state of his soul. Find a way to love him in that moment. Then think about the best message to deliver this season.

For me, it’s this: People should worry less about how we remember His first coming and spend more time preparing for His next arrival.”

That message is a herald to hark with all of our strength but the greeting cards aren’t pretty.

We’ve been a long time waiting for Him to come again but that’s how it felt the first time, too.

By the time Mary received the announcement that she was carrying God’s son, there were popular rabbis teaching that the Messiah referred to in the scriptures was, perhaps, a metaphor calling each of us to save our portion of the world. When Jesus finally arrived the first time, there were many who had grown tired of waiting for Him.

Did you ever notice the preponderance of Mary’s in the New Testament? It was a very popular name for little girls in Israel back then. It means “bitter or bitterness.” It may as well mean “We’re tired of waiting for you to save us God. We’re going to try to save ourselves.”

And there were groups of Jews trying to do that. The Zealots believed in rising up against their oppressors and fighting Rome for freedom. One of the twelve disciples, Simon, was a Zealot. He was probably not popular with his cohorts when he announced that the actual Messiah had come so he was done with swords and conspiracies against Rome.

He had a greater task.

That’s exactly how I feel right now. So, I’m laying down my holiday sword and preparing to love others, even the governor, to speak the truth, and to pray that they get the true message of Christ before their actual offenses land them in a place of judgment.

Forget that you’re offending me, sir. Worry more about the ways you may be an offense to the One who is coming again.

I don’t know exactly when but I do know that every generation is closer to the end than the last.

I also know that the admonition to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” wasn’t just about receiving a swaddled baby into the world as the King Eternal. That baby grew up, lived, died, and rose again. That baby ascended and is standing beside the Father awaiting the time when He returns to call His followers home and to judge the inhabitants of earth.

Revelation 19:11-16 says this: “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

That’s no swaddled baby in a manger. That’s the Jesus who is coming again – just as He promised.

Don’t worry about whether or not you’re prepared for this Christmas season – worry whether or not you’re prepared for the season to come – the End of the Age and the return of Jesus Christ.

Prepare for the season of the white horse. He won’t be wrapped in garland.

Put THAT message on your Christmas card and mail it, loved ones. Are you ready for God unswaddled?

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Today’s image comes from http://greisv.blogspot.com/2010/02/undefeated-conquering-warrior.html

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5 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Marie says:

    I was sent a link to your blog from Precepts. I have read it since, for the past two months. I wanted to say thank you for expressing so well what many of us feel but don’t have the words.
    Grace upon Grace,
    Marie

  2. Thank you, Marie. You’ve no idea how well-timed and needed your encouraging words are tonight! God bless.

  3. Lori, my friend, another excellent post. Straight to the heart. Love does conquer all.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A great big AMEN SISTER!!

    Holly

  5. I feel the same way sister Lets show the Love of God not draw a line in the sand Well said