“Christmas, my child is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” Dale Evans Rogers
My favorite Scrooge actor is Alistair Sims. His gift of expression in portraying a man without Christ in Christmas and a man with Christ in Christmas is priceless.
The Christmas Challenge
Recently, our little town of Wilmore, KY made the national news. Topping a hill on the edge of city, on the campus of Asbury University, the town’s towering water tower can be seen for miles. What makes our water tower unique is the large, illuminated cross on top of the tower. I really don’t know how long it’s been there, but I do know that it has been a beacon of encouragement to me since we first moved to Wilmore in 1983. Until recently, I’ve never heard anything but compliments about our water tower.
Wilmore is a “Mayberry” kind of town with Asbury University and also Asbury Theological Seminary both located just west of our quaint downtown area. Mainly, people here lead a quiet, small town life…until late this summer. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has demanded that the cross be removed. Otherwise, there will be legal action. Never mind that the water tower is on private property and that in 1976 the University transferred ownership of the tower, not the property, to the city with the stipulation that the cross remains on the tower. Mayor Rainwater thinks it’s just fine if we keep the cross on the water tower just as it’s been for decades. I believe 98% of his constituents agree (my estimation, of course).
My Christmas challenge is this; that I will not become angry as out-of-state Grinches try to rob me of the joy of Christmas…the joy of celebrating the birth of Christ. My challenge is to love people and to love God more than ever before. I am called to be better instead of bitter. I was reminded of this truth a few days ago while reading I Peter 2:11. “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”
Now, those of you who know me well know that without Christ I cannot accomplish this challenge from Peter. Jesus shares with us in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” This doesn’t mean that we should pound our chest like the Pharisees with a “holier than thou” attitude, but that we should genuinely treat others with kindness and help people when they are in need. We should love with actions, not just words. This is my Christmas challenge for myself for now and throughout the year. I know that we will not attract people to Christ in the courtroom or in the halls of government. We will win people to Christ with the lives that we live and the love that we share. Jesus wins people to Him by getting in to their hearts, not by “getting in their face.”
In A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge’s callous spirit and arrogance finally mellowed, and he proudly proclaimed: “I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it the entire year.”
Well, there is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and today is “Giving Tuesday.” There are hundreds of worthy non-profits. If you have been blessed through our ministry to coaches, traveled on one of our mission trips to the Dominican Republic or Appalachia, or have been encouraged by our devotionals, would you consider giving toward our efforts through SCORE International. SCORE is a 501-C-3 organization. This is a great time for year-end giving. If you are led to give:
*Our home address is Keith Madison 305 Drake LN Wilmore, KY 40390.
*You may also go to our home office website to donate on-line
Go to HTTP://www.scoreintl.org (DONATE–MISSIONARIES–SEARCH-MADISON)