The People of Christmas: The Antagonistic
How could you believe in a God who allows bad things to happen to good people?
Believing in God is fine for you, but I don’t need a crutch.
Keep prayer out of schools.
Don’t talk to me about Jesus.
Jesus. There’s just something about that name . . . but for some people, not always in a good way.
For those who are aware of their need to be reconciled to God, the name Jesus truly is a sweet sound. But for those who don’t see their need, it’s a name that has been reduced to a swear word.
Even during times of great crisis, our culture will grudgingly accept references to God or spirituality. Just don’t talk about Jesus.
Antagonistic people have been around for a long time.
We can’t consider the Christmas story without remembering how the wise men came, seeking the “king of the Jews.” The reigning monarch, Herod, wasn’t at all happy with their search. A new king was a threat for the old king. But Herod knew how to deal with threats. Hoping to stop one baby boy, Herod ordered the slaughter of all baby boys under the age of two in Bethlehem.
Herod was motivated by insecurity and fear. He clung to his power and thrived on what he could control.
Hmmm…not so different from people today. Believing that Jesus really is the Son of God who came to be our Savior means giving up our own agendas. Acknowledging that the illusion of our control is just that—an illusion. And our culture is filled with people who refuse to give up their illusions.
They fear the One whose love casts out all fear.
They run from the One who left heaven to run to us.
They resist the One who leads us with cords of kindness.
They turn away from the One whose substitutionary death caused His Father to turn away from Him.
Herod was threatened by the only One who could give him the peace he desperately needed. He feared the Prince of Peace. Let’s not follow his example.
Jesus came to bring peace—peace with God and peace from God.
There’s just something about that name.