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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

At Christmas, I Finally Feel Like a Christian

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Readers of this blog will know that I worry a lot about the fact that I'm apparently not a "real Christian" anymore. I don't believe all the correct things (you know, opposing gay marriage and abortion, believing that all non-Christians go to hell, etc etc). I say I'm a Christian, but, come on.

So here we are, in the month of December, surrounded by Christmas decorations. (Here in China, there are artificial Christmas trees, tinsel, and pictures of Santa in every mall, but no acknowledgement that Christmas has a religious component. I miss that.)

You guys, I love Christmas. I love Jesus coming to the earth. It's just so good, the message of "peace on earth."

All this crap going on in the world, the violence and injustice... o come o come Emmanuel. We need God. We need hope. We need someone to right the wrongs.

I love everything about Jesus' birth. And in my classes (I teach English to Chinese adults) I talk about American culture, and Christmas, and the religious part and what it all means to me, and I'm so so so happy to teach about it. I still want to be a missionary, you guys.

Jesus. The word became flesh. God became human. And it means he will bring peace on earth. He has brought down rulers from their thrones and lifted up the humble. You guys. You guys.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make his blessings flow, far as the curse is found. That's the meaning of Christmas. The world is messed up, but all of that is going to change. It all started to change on that day 2000 years ago when (did I mention?) God became a human.

God is with us!

If that's not good news, I don't know what is.

Image source.
All year long, people tell me I'm not a real Christian. They don't say it so explicitly or directly, but the message is clear: You must hold to this specific set of beliefs and rules, otherwise, come on, you're not fooling anyone.

But here is Christmas, and here is Jesus, coming to this broken world. Here is joy and hope and a vision for peace on earth.

That's the message of Christianity, and that's the best news I've ever heard. That's a message I can get on board with. I want to tell everyone the good news.

At Christmas, I finally feel like a Christian.

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PS please enjoy this song:

6 comments:

  1. YES. Beautiful post.

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  2. Christmas is nothing short of epic. Thousands of years of promises and prophesies rush together in one night. I can totally get behind your excitement. Awesome post.

    It's become my habit to read the book of Isaiah every December. It adds to the epic-ness of Christmas. It's not just the references to the coming savior, though, but everything else in the chapters that shows just how crappy things were/are, and how desperately we needed Him to come.

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  3. The fact that you can believe what you just wrote and still feel like people think you're not a real Christian, is a perfect illustration of what has gone wrong with Christianity (in terms of what people think it is and how it is practiced).

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  4. Yes, exactly. And reading the book of Isaiah sounds like a good idea too, maybe I should do that.

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