War? What war?

Over this past weekend, I’ve seen social media go crazy…again. Around this time of year especially, someone gets upset over someone’s corporate decision and declares that there is “a war on Christmas/Christianity.” Really? Just because one company (which I don’t patronize, by the way, because I don’t care for coffee) has changed the design of their cup, somehow that’s negating the Christmas season…

Let’s get over it, folks.

In the first place, companies that have locations worldwide have different seasons to deal with. Yes, in America there are snowflakes and snowmen in December. But in Australia, there is sunshine and time at the beaches!

In the second place, there are real wars that affect real people in much more significant ways than simply being handed a cup whose design and/or color you disagree with.

Yes, there are places in the world where those who are Christian are suffering for their faith…facing torture or death.

There are places where people struggle every day just to survive…who are desperate to create a better future for their children.

There are people struggling every day to break free of the bondage of addictions of various types…and sometimes–when they most need the support of a faith community–they find themselves unwelcome.

There are people whose sexual orientation or sexual identity make others uncomfortable–and far too often they are kicked out of their families or their faith communities…forced out and left alone.

If there is a war on Christianity, unfortunately it often seems to be waged by those who call themselves Christian. The One who led the way met with those who were on the fringes…broke bread with them…welcomed children…healed those who were sick…offered love to those who were rejected…challenged the status quo.

Let’s stop getting so upset about things that don’t really matter–like the color of a coffee cup–and…for those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus the Christ…let’s spend time feeding the sick…visiting the sick and imprisoned…providing support for those who are trying to break free of addictions…

Matthew 25:31-45

“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

“Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’

“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

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