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Christmas Cards?
December Sermon Series

I mention this every year, it's just that good. So, years ago I saw the above cartoon at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. It worked for me on a couple of levels:

  1. Christmas Cards: we all send them, get them, work on them, but is it really worth it? Who do you send them to? What about the person who send you one and you've not sent them any? Do you hurry up and send one? This is a perplexing social dilemma. It also seems to be a waste of resources in a Christian community that cares for the suffering of the world. What to do?
  2. The Wise Men or "Kings" are just that: Kings! Funny. It gets even better: Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds are low in number - a 2, 3, and 4. This is theologically correct! In Luke 1:46-52, Mary says, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble." Just think, the bride of a carpenter and yet to be the mother of the Messiah!
  3. Jesus is a card that says "Rules." I've got to hand it to the author, Nicholas Gurewitch, he hit the common understanding of Jesus right on the head. Brilliant. Jesus comes with a bunch of rules, regulations, and stuff to do in the "game" of life. Do the right things and you'll win! How wrong that is. In theology we call this the "law." It's what YOU do. It's opposite of the Gospel: what Jesus has done FOR you!

In reality, the card should say "Relationship" and have a happy face on it. Reason: Jesus brings us into a relationship with the Almighty through his incarnation, love, life, and subsequent death on the cross. In John 10, Jesus states, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." The way we "play" the game of life is to trust him and receive that which we cannot do for ourselves - it's called the Gospel. It's good news.

See you in church,
Pr. Tom