I’ve been a member of several churches I’ve called home. My longest membership was at a church where the pastor is a writer. It was very inspiring to have a pastor who could use simple language to describe deep biblical truths. A few years ago Pastor Dana shared about Christmas in a local newspaper article:
“Christmas in America is always a bit of a strange time of the year for an active Christian. We live in this tension. As we have a country where the vast majority of people call themselves ‘Christian’, there is going to be a lot of emphasis on the holiday. At the same time, we are a secular nation in the strict sense of the word, and so in the public square we tend to get the emphasis on the extremes: Either everyone is bending over backwards trying not to acknowledge Christmas is about Jesus, (‘For unto us a snowman is born?!”), or some Christians are trying to get the government to endorse manger scenes at city hall, and such.”
“Christmas is about God breaking into our space/time dimension and coming as Jesus. God is telling the world, ‘I love you and I want you to join with me in my kingdom life forever.’ Jesus life, death and resurrection make possible the reconciliation between God and all people. Christians worship a God who brings peace and makes the world right in His own time and in his own way. ”
“You see, God is brilliant. Coming into the world as Jesus, is about as non-threatening a way as God could enter into our lives. As one of us. A baby born in a working class family, in a stable where animals are kept, in an obscure (at the time) corner of the world – who happens to be God. Not a rich, powerful, dominating military or political force, but a helpless child with a hopeful future, that so many throughout the ages find so compelling. Through the model of his life, and teaching, he is aptly called, ‘Prince of Peace,’ and that is what he ultimately brings through his death and resurrection that makes it possible for all people to join him today.” Pastor Dana Hanson
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I like to keep things real as I can.
We all love the sweet little baby Jesus (we’re obsessed with children in our society). Jolly Santa brings us into the world of fantasy, (another of our worlds obsessions). But the other side of the birth of Jesus …. of reality …. is ‘danger, risk’. Babies aren’t a threat but Jesus as the Lion of Judah speaks to the ‘dangerous, risky’ side of our humanity. Love requires risk. It’s often misunderstood, and attacked …. but it survives anything.
I try to include that reality in my blog. I know some get bothered by the words in my posts but I would not want to offend Marc or Jesus by playing it safe.
May the tender yet fierce love of Jesus reveal His power to you!
Blessings from Diane (and Marc)
- Note – Dana’s article used with permission. Pr Hanson was a protege of Dallas Willard. His latest book is titled “Reboot: 70 Life Lessons With Dallas Willard“.