Posts tagged ‘christmas’
Christmas is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. I’d like to pay tribute in my Christmas sermon by listing a few of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew that frame my view of religion. If only Christians could read and live by these scriptures.
Thoughts on the judgmental nature of Religion
1 Stop judging others and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Why worry about the speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Thoughts on the divisiveness of Religion
2 Beware of those who come to divide. You can detect them by the way that they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.
Thoughts on the greed of religious leaders
3 Why do the teachers of religion, by their traditions, violate their commandments? …
Christmas is always a bit hard for me.
When I was young, and nestled in a deeply religious fundamentalist family, Christmas was wonderful. It was both deeply personal, and at the same time it was the grand final chapter of a cosmic drama. It wasn’t about gifts and confections, though of course as a kid I looked forward to those. For me, the “magic” in Christmas was that it a day that celebrated belonging. Most immediately, it was the ultimate Family Day, when families came together, and love and acceptance and belonging could be most enjoyed and most taken for granted. But in my experience (as a rather emotionally sensitive kid) it was even more: nature and even time itself became cozy and warm, and seemed to close in about us, rejoicing, as the coming of Christ into the world demonstrated our worth in the eyes of God. Christmas reminded us that the universe was made for us and we belong here. Christmas was nothing less than the reconciliation of heaven and earth, when belonging at home, in the family, merely echoed our belonging in the created world. It was beautiful; it was theology in motion. I have never, ever in my life felt as at home as I used to, on Christmas day.
Needless to say, it isn’t like this for me anymore…