By Lynn Baber
Christians have been lamenting the assault on Christmas for years now, as Christmas parties, pageants and images disappear from the school systems; citizens crying foul as the Christmas tree and Manger scenes are banned from the public square while symbols of other religions are allowed to remain.
Stores have been lambasted for choosing to greet customers with "Happy Holidays" rather that "Merry Christmas." Like so many issues in modern society, more time is given to the 'how' of a debate than is given to the disputed issue itself.
What a brilliant opportunity Christmas gift baskets for the family of God. If ever there was an obvious fork in the road, this is it. One street leads to the elevation of human greed, avarice, dissipation, and worship of self. The other leads to a more dimly lit, quieter lane that eventually passes through the narrowest of gates.
The brilliant lights of "Christmas" take you down the avenue of a noisy, festive celebration of Man. The other choice, the more solitary path, is the road to Heaven. There is no party on that narrow road, only the deep joyous realization that a gift was given to us that guaranteed peace with our God. Love was born in a stable.
Did Mary and Joseph decorate the stable with bows and holly? Can you imagine the shepherds coming to see the newborn, lying in a manger, each of their sheep sporting red and green plaid collars and bells? Did the wise men bring not only gifts for the King, but also for themselves, each other, the camel keeper, the message bearers and a few extra presents just in case?
Yes, there were brilliant lights that night of Christ's birth. The piercing starlight that backed up a heavenly chorus was provided by God. Ever since, man has been trying to one-up the King. Many Christians today have put up so many lights on their roofs, lawns, trees, boats, and gates that the glorious light from heaven is not visible amidst the massive amount of light pollution.
Here's an example that says it all: many Christians take a pass on attending church services at Christmas gift because they are too busy with holiday preparations. I will not embellish that thought. If you don't get it, well, there is nothing more to be said.
Be thankful. Share with others in the family the abundance of love and grace during this holiday time. If you find yourself worrying about the shopping, the cooking and who is using what greeting, I would ask you to stop, look around and check your bearings.
Which way did you go at the fork in the road?
Lynn Baber is a Christian writer and retired equine professional. Highly credentialed in issues of leadership, relationships and most things equine, Lynn has a unique perspective not found elsewhere. Lynn brings years of experience to presentations and articles. Lynn's latest book is scheduled for release in 2010.
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