Have Yourself A Rebukin’ Kinda Christmas
Posted on December 21, 2022 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” — James 1:23-24 (NKJV)
Imagine with me, if you will, a time where a good American family gathers around the family holiday dinner table. They’ve invited a friend and stranger over to join them in this timely tradition of some strange meat dish, sorta reddish, sliced up and served on a bed of lettuce. There’s a brown gooey substance in the gravy bowl, mashed white stuff along with a bowl of something that resembles warmed up canned peas that I’m guessin’ goes along with the meat dish. (Just as a side-note here I ain’t a fan of canned peas. I had a tragic incident as a child because of them.)
So, as friend and stranger are seated, everyone is welcomed then told that this timely holiday tradition begins with…the airing of grievances. “I got a lotta problems with you people, now you’re going to hear about it!” Suddenly the only praying that is going on is for no one being picked for the feats of strength segment of this now untimely holiday tradition, and since there aren’t any presents under the aluminum pole the only Festivus miracle happening at the moment is…RETREAT!! “And Frank, no offense, but this holiday is little vrrrett, vrrrett, vrrreettt out there.”
I know we don’t usually expect to be rebuked at Christmas but it is also a good thing that we don’t celebrate Festivus either. I mean, isn’t it bad enough that the heart strings of the entire world gets pulled, so that we’re all compelled to do some mushy “Christian” stuff for people in need? It’s like, all of sudden, those two commandments of Jesus come into play and there’s peace on earth, goodwill towards man and God rest ye merry gentlemen. Now, don’t get me wrong here either, it is always a good thing to do good things for your fellow man BUT that’s supposed to be a year ‘round thing. So maybe we oughta get rebuked at Christmas for being wishy-washy about what we do for Jesus before His birthday (which may/may not fall on an accurate date, just sayin’).
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him.” — Philippians 3:8-9a
t would happen if someone said to you, “On Christmas morning, I’m coming over to your house, sitting down and then rebuking you over cinnamon rolls and coffee, that you’re gonna provide”? Yeah, so that’s definitely not a happening thing, right? After all, when we think of being rebuked we may envision a red face, with a hostile voice that speaks only judgmental words, as their finger is pointing at us in disgust. But that ain’t rebuking that’s being judged and judges hate being judged, don’t they? However, in reality, being rebuked means to be compared to a standard and to be found lacking within that standard. Maybe it’s the fact the we’re being found lacking within that standard that makes being rebuked worse than being served a Festivus dinner then being pinned during the feats of strength.
However, The Christmas Story is God’s rebuke to the world He created. No one would expect El Shaddai, Adonai to level the playing field and send His Son to be born in a manger then die on a cross, right? Many of the time period expected Elijah to arrive, in a glowing chariot, pulled by a white horse, as Moses is riding shotgun to overthrow their oppressors. They just wanted to be saved from whatever empire was ruling them at the time. They spent much time looking at the circumstances surrounding them as their reason for personal salvation rather than looking into a mirror and see the absence of the vertical connection that normally keeps one level (which comes through the reading of God’s Word, shhh).
We have two different arenas we could find ourselves in. One, you’re doin’ what ya gotta to deepen your faith in yourself and then being a slave to the maintenance plan or two, you’re preaching the Gospel of divine peace, protection and provision to yourself then sharing how you were blessed with others. The Christmas Story also rebukes us in terms of thinking that we’re independent from God instead of being dependent upon Him. Paul David Tripp once that, “It makes no sense to celebrate the birth of Jesus when you strive for independence.” That’s a serious rebuke, so be careful rebuking the greeter when you hear them say, “Happy Holidays”. Just sayin’!! Anyway…
I would like to take a moment and wish you, and the entire Freedom Fighter family, a very Merry Christmas. And for the rest of us…”I think you can take’em Georgie”. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation.” Psalm 69:13