Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
The People of Christmas: The Antagonistic

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.


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  1. Nancy E. Head

    May God soften the hearts of those who oppose Him. Merry Christmas, Ava!

  2. Yvonne Morgan

    I pray for many more people to feel the touch of the Masters hand this Christmas and seek Him like the wisemen of old. Thanks for another wonderful message. God bless and Merry Christmas

  3. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Yes! You described the situation exactly as it is! Jesus’ mere name and his very self continued to spark controversy and conflict, and yet, he is my dearest friend, my protector, my Comforter when I’m in pain or sad or lonely.

  4. Karen Friday

    Yes, indeed, the mention of the name of Jesus brings either peace and comfort or fear and insecurity. My biological father was an atheist most of his life. When I accepted Christ as Savior at sixteen, I began to pray daily for my dad. Sixteen years later, when I was thirty-two, my dad believed in God and accepted Christ as Lord! It was one certainly good, good news! Merry Christmas!

  5. Jessica Brodie

    You are right! His name can inspire hope and peace and rest for some… but some don’t have the same reaction. I pray all come to know Jesus as our savior! His name brings salvation!

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