There are a lot of people in the Sacramento area who can’t stand Jesus. So much so, in fact, that they go to great lengths to erase his name from the holiday that points to him. They put up billboards encouraging us to forget/reject Jesus. They intentionally say to everyone, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” They refuse to sing any Christmas carol that mentions Jesus or any of the major Christmas characters.
No Wise Men.
It’s Santa, candy canes, and 8 tiny reindeer, thank you very much, minus everything that points to God in the flesh.
Here’s why – the people that vocally reject Jesus probably understand the ramifications of the Gospel better than the very ones who actually believe the Gospel. They are well aware of God’s offer of grace extended to us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They understand the demand of Jesus to be honored, adored, and followed above all others. They know the Gospel. They just don’t believe it and don’t like the idea that everywhere they turn – there’s baby Jesus.
Yes, there are a lot of people in Sacramento who hate Jesus. There are also a lot of people in Sacramento who would willingly forfeit their lives for him. Would you agree though that most of the population would not find themselves on either extreme?
They hold to a more centrist position because they don’t want to hate Jesus, nor do they want to love him. The middle is where they prefer and the middle is where they will stay. As a result they can sing about the reign of Jesus while at the same time care nothing about following him. They’re moderate in their approach – they neither love nor hate him. They’re content to merely like him.
The problem is that liking Jesus isn’t on the menu of options that the Gospel offers.
This Sunday we will see this played out in the beautiful, yet extremely brief, story of a man named Simeon (Luke 2:25-35). What Simeon said is pretty much all we know about him. But it’s enough.
Read it over a couple of times would you? Hope to see you there.
Oh yeah – almost forgot – there will be cookies. BOOM!