As Christians, we insist that because of Jesus all is grace. Holidays, perhaps like no other time, press us, inquiring whether it really is all grace. Holidays are gifts. They are feasts. They are mini-Sabbaths. They mean grace, rest, relief, laughter. But thereís something about grace piled up, grace over flowing, kindness unleashed that tempts people to grumble. Israel saw the wonders of God in Egypt, walked through the Red Sea on dry ground, and ate angel food in the wilderness, but God wasnít pleased with them because they complained and grumbled against God. So donít be surprised if grumbles, complaints, and sidelong glances well up in your throat as you celebrate and prepare for the holidays this year. And donít be surprised if the temptations come wrapped in the form of pious sounding complaints: thereís so much greed, commercialism, materialism, what about all the starving orphans. Of course there are other ways to sin during the holidays, but evil isnít overcome by evil. Having a bad attitude because some people are sinning is like pouring gasoline on a fire and pretending to be a fireman. You arenít helping at all. And frequently, the people you suspect of sin are really just enjoying the goodness of God and you canít handle the grace. So this Advent, let every heart prepare Him room. Kill the complaints. Bury the bitterness. Fix your eyes on Jesus, Your Savior, who was born to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. That includes eggnog and candy canes, cancer and chemotherapy, trees and lights, flu bugs and teething toddlers, wrapping paper and prime rib, generous sacrificial gifts, hard work, late nights, hot chocolate, carols in the cold, and of course family and neighbors and those who in need with all their quirks and challenges. Judas was the original Scrooge, and he betrayed our Lord because he didnít understand that Godís grace was greater than all our sin. But Christ has come, and He will come again to turn this entire world into His Eternal Holiday, a Feast that will never end.
Leave a Reply