“Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living,” Romans 14:1-9.
Particularly at this time of the year the real Pharisees seem to show up. The usual historical origins of Christmas are quoted, and some just know that having a decorated tree simply is a pagan thing. The children are told that there won’t be any presents, or a tree this year. Instead, they will join in and sing hymns all day long and the TV will be turned off indefinitely. If they’re real good, then perhaps mom and dad will serve them some hot cocoa, if they promise to get up early and put on their bright shining faces and say, “Yes mam and sir.
Of course I’m exaggerating here some, but the point should be clear. Some of us jump on our band wagons and put on our austere clothing. We know the true meaning of this season of the year and no amount of glitter and propaganda is going to keep us from the truth. It’s very true that Christmas has become a time of forgetting what the true meaning is, and bows and ribbons have replaced the manger and the wise men. Yes, we know that this isn’t the actual birth time of the Savior, but for now let’s just celebrate it as if it is.
We don’t have to live like the Amish do. We can still use electricity and drive our cars and trucks. But if you feel better about it, then get a horse and buggy, and find an old farm house to live in for a while. Turn off the TV and internet forever. Sit in a corner and stare at the wall and fold your hands. Doing anything other than this is surely a sin.
Perhaps some of us should consider that families can come together in love and show their appreciation for each other. Perhaps some should consider that many of us are actually honoring God in their own way.
Allow the presents to be opened. Go to the celebrations and church services that many of you typically go to at this time of the year. Light the candles and sing “Silent Night.” Watch that Hallmark movie, and steal a kiss under the holly. Take a walk, listen to the music of the season, and think back on the memories you had as a child.
Of course for many of us, this is a difficult time of the year. A loved one may no longer be with us. Our families may be dysfunctional and selfish. Money may be very tight, and the car is falling apart. Some of us certainly have more blessings in our lives than others do.
Help out that homeless person. Give a smile and offer friendship to the stranger, the widow, and the estranged. Invite them over for dinner, and help them if you can.
Then perhaps the true meaning will be experienced as you honor the Savior in your own way.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the Lord is a special way in 1975 and has been prophesying regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are to be reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?