Happy holidays?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Despite your best efforts, are you sometimes offended by Jesus? Do you feel uneasy and a bit degraded by the fact that you believe something so foolish as a virgin birth? Do you feel a bit too lowly and foolish, like one of those shepherds? picture of Messiah in a manger.

My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." (Luke 2:16-18) "Would you like to see pictures of our new baby?" How often have you heard these words, confronted by some proud mother, father or grandparent who had just been blessed with the gift of a child? They're so proud, so sure that their little baby, no matter how wrinkled and homely, has just got to be the most beautiful little bundle ever born. New parents and grandparents are pretty shameless when it comes to their babies. I personally carry a picture of my grandsons and it wouldn't take much for me to pull it out on a moment's notice. I am shameless when it comes to my grandsons, but what about the baby Jesus? Are we as shameless to tell others about Him?

"Happy holidays!" The other day I was greeted by a receptionist at a major company in the area with these words. I paused for a moment and responded, "What holiday do you mean?" "You know."” She stated almost sheepishly. "No I don't." I calmly replied. "Did you mean Memorial Day, the Fourth of July or what?" "I mean Christmas!" she whispered in the phone. "We're not supposed to say it. We don't want anyone to be offended.”

The humorist Dave Barry writes: "Offended by Christmas? Who would be offended, I thought. To avoid offending any- body, my son's school dropped religion altogether and started singing about the weather. They now hold the winter pro- gram in February and sing increasingly non-memorable songs such as "Winter Wonderland," "Frosty the Snowman" and- -this is a real song– "Suzy Snowflake," all of which is pretty funny because we live in Miami. A visitor from another planet would assume that the children belonged to the Church of Meteorology. (Dave Barry in his "Notes on Western Civilization")

Offended by Jesus! Just think for a moment. You're a shepherd, one of the dregs of Hebrew society. Not respected or regarded except lowly. Now, in your heart you have this picture of Messiah in a manger. What do you do with it? Perhaps you should regard your lowly status and keep it to yourself. Besides, no one is going to listen anyway. Or, do you proudly pull it out of your heart and show it to everyone. Thank God they were brave enough to tell others and NOT keep it to themselves. "We're not supposed to say it?" Not on their lives or ours for that matter. MERRY CHRISTMAS! "Would you like to see a picture of the most beautiful baby ever born? Here, I have it here, right in my heart. Look, it's Jesus!"

We pray. Dear Father, You have put the message of a Savior into our hearts by Your Holy Spirit. Especially at this time of the year are we reminded of it. Often, especially at this time of the year, we are embarrassed by it. We even fall prey to greeting others with a simple Happy Holidays, feeling like this is the safe zone that every Christian needs to adopt in this politically correct world we live in. Forgive us Father when we show shame instead of honor when the topic of Christmas arises. Make Your Spirit strong within us that we might greet others with a confident “Merry Christmas!” knowing that the Spirit is doing the work and we have little to do with it. In Jesus Name! Amen.

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!”

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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