For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thursday, November 8, 2007

God's Christmas Letter?

My sister-in-law sent this to me the other day. I don't know who created it, but here it is:

Christmas letter from God
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 12:38:58 -0600

My Dear Children,

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 a 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 plastic Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your 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 are. 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 the 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 writing the President complaining about the wording of the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you will be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing your prayers again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with 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 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 Sunday they would close and let their employees spend the day at home and in church with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard my name. You may already know someone like that.

9. 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.

10. 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.

P.S. 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 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.
(Origin Unknown)

A creative and cleverly worded letter for sure. Though I'm not sure I agree with everything in the first part, the 10 suggestions look pretty good.

But what the original writer of the "letter from God" fails to appreciate is that diluting the language (replacing the word Christmas with politically correct phrases) is the first step in eliminating the connection to God and making it one big generic Winter Festival with no Christ child at the center.

I must also challenge the very premise made by the writer that those 10 suggestions are not already being implemented by those who bring attention to and complain about watering down Christmas. It's like the guy who exclaimed "Where are the Christians?!?" after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf area, while it was the Christians who were the only ones mobilizing to bring aid to the victims.

I wonder, too, if the person who wrote that letter actually does the things suggested,...or if he/she merely brainstormed some good ideas for "other people" to do. I already do 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and always try to do 10 (but fall short at times). Will look into 2, 6, and 7. Hope you do, too. Whoever you are.


Paul G. said...

Lots of good stuff here, Matt. Living one's faith on a daily basis is more important/meaningful/difficult/etc. than publicly voicing one's outrage about societal, governmental and commercial trends now and then.

OTOH, that doesn't make the latter worthless or unnecessary, IMHO. Christmas has historically and traditionally been celebrated in this country and elsewhere as the birthday of Christ. (Whether accurate chronologically or not simply doesn't matter.) For a PC-obsessed, faith-abandoned society and government to decree that the word "Christ" is anathema is an insult to God (including His inseparable Son}, no less than Aaron's building of the Golden Calf. amd I don't fault Christians for publicly voicing their protest of this insult.

As I read this (very well done) "letter from God", I wondered whether He had penned a similar letter to His Son back in the day, expressing His disappointment over Jesus's overturning of the tables of the animal-sellers and money-changers in the Temple. ("I'll deal with them later, Son. Meanwhile, You go out and save the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene. Just stop embarrassing Me with these public displays of irritation at the profanation of My ways.") Or a similar personal "note" to His Son ("What's with this 'Woe to thee, ye Scribes and Pharisees'? Stop with the public attacks on other people already, and just go out and multiply loaves and fishes and stuff like that.")

Finally, I can just imagene the "letters" that God must have sent to Jeremiah!