I would love to be a fly on the wall in a few houses around… “Have you realized that Thanksgiving is coming? How can we get by without having to invite Jack and Jill? You know they always want to go up the hill and insist on carrying pails of water!” After some thought the answer comes, “I would rather have them than to have Virginia Wolf! She always embarrasses her husband and man I bet when they get home they have a knock down, drag out fight!” “Grandma is getting a little crazy maybe she won’t remember we didn’t invite her, you think?” “Well she can’t come anyway because she lives with Alice in Wonderland and she has already said she will never darken our door again! Oh what to do?” Look I am telling you things I have heard through the years from people that actually called me asking what I would do in a certain situation and I play the peacemaker and give advice that will make everyone happy. So I ask you, what’s it all about anyway?
I’ve been watching the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel even though the plot is basically the same in everyone. You have a choice, either someone gets to go into their past and get a re-do or there is a very cranky, terrible person that suddenly sees the “Christmas” light and changes dramatically, point is there is always a happy ending, the family always ends up laughing and happy. So you have a choice about how your holidays will end this year. Are you going to be the Grinch, the one who refuses to give in and be nice, the one who sees the light and changes or the one that is the glue and puts everything back together?
“I’m a good Christian”, you may be thinking, “just ask anybody! I gave money in the drive to raise money to buy food for the needy, mammograms for ladies that can’t afford it, money for homeless shelters, widows, abandoned divorcée’s. You name it, I’ve ridden miles, ran in marathons, polished pews…” and the list goes on and on.
All of those things are nice and I am not demeaning any thing I mentioned or didn’t mention, however those things will not buy your way into heaven. It’s like looking at a chocolate cake, thick fudge icing and then cutting into it and finding it was simply covered cardboard, all show and no go.
What does the Bible have to say about it? Isaiah 58:6-9
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The GOD of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, GOD will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Notice that I put bold type on the part about being good to your family.
Maybe you think because that is in the Old Testament it doesn’t count, oh really? What about the young lawyer asking Jesus which commandment he considered the most important. After telling him that the first was to love God with all your heart and soul he answered Matthew 22:40 ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” God’s law and the Prophets that would be the scripture we just read from the Old side of the Book!
Go back and read the scripture from Isaiah and see if your list looks any different? Yes I am being nosy you caught me!