Tag: humulity

Christmas Wars: Humility strikes not

Christmas Wars started with Christmas. Seriously, it won’t go away. I’m often perplexed at the media and cultural storm that now boils up around this time of year. So, here are my two cents. Really, it’s one concept: Humility.

God could have, but didn’t…
Jesus came as a humble baby to a blue-collar family, and was laid down in a feeding trough. He could have descended from the clouds in a massive coronation ceremony. He could have burned the Earth and started over with a few chosen, like he did in times past with the flood. He didn’t. Jesus chose a humble entrance, not an in your face approach. Humble family, humble town, humbled form by taking on human flesh, humble birthing place.

X marks the spot…
Christ is central to Xmas. Christ in Greek is spelled “xristos.” X was used and developed by Christians (Xtrians?). Often times, as in the underground church, such usage of abbreviations are important. Even the symbol of the fish came as a result of initials. If anything, Xmas tells me that Xtrians need to get Xtreme with our humility. Also, it should remind us to pray for those who cannot publicly celebrate the miracle of the virgin birth.

Happy Holidays
Greet people in a way meaningful to you and others and true to yourself. That’s humility. If you have a friend who is Jewish, greet appropriately. If you don’t know, be true to yourself. Humility and respect cannot be achieved by Happy Holidays, or demanding one say Merry Christmas. It can only be achieved by showing respect and deference to others or a respectful celebration to one’s beliefs. Saying Merry Christmas only works if you’re passionate about the humility it stands for and express it as such. Attitude counts.

The bottom line:
Christmas is a statement of humility, service and giving. If that is our focus, there can be no removal of Christ from Christmas. In fact, there is more nobility and appreciation for it. God chose humility and mercy to deal with us. He came as a servant, not as a tyrant. Humility strikes not. It foreshadows the greatest act of humility. Jesus took on God’s justice that we deserved. Humility takes the hit for the benefit of what’s most important. Jesus chose humility during Christmas. We should too.

Saved by the bell

Mercy is not giving something one does deserve. We often speak of grace, but not often of mercy. Likely this is because mercy recognizes what we deserve. God demonstrated mercy by not giving us what we deserve because of what He gave us in His son. Do we live by  mercy as much as we live by grace?

Tradition! Tradition!
At my college the tradition engaged couples would ring the bell on the tower. The soon to be groom would then run for his life as his dorm mates, well… The soon to be bride would tell her tale to a chorus of amen’s, oops, I mean awww’s. This auspicious ceremony performed numerous times had a wake.

For those not engaged, desiring to be engaged, wondering if they’ll ever be engaged, each time the bell rang was painful. For those who recently broke up, it was even worse. The Bible says we should rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. Engagements were to be celebrated, and rightfully so.

The gift of silence
The Bible also describes mercy, grace, compassion and humility. While we had the right 10 years ago to celebrate in a way many have before us, we also had the ability to let that right go. The issue, for us, wasn’t we thought someone might suffer through it. We knew people who would suffer. There were other ways to celebrate, this one tradition we let slide.

Having the right to something doesn’t always mean you should exercise that right. Mercy, grace, compassion and humility often need us to give up rights. Not a legalistic jail of hypothetical maybe’s, but such is a knowledgeable act of compassion to people you know.

The choice
The question comes down to how much do you value people. It is easy to push people away for something you have a right to. It is easy to force your rights, and while entitled, may cause damage.In this lessons about God, the leadership in Israel missed; not just walk justly, but also show mercy and walk in humility. People matter.

The bottom line:
An act of mercy is often withholding something that we know may cause pain or suffering to someone else. Mercy is just as potent as grace, and the two are definite cousins. It may not be the fair thing to do, but it is the compassionate one.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8