Jack’s Winning Words 12/17/15
“You know that Nativity play we all put on at Christmastime? Yeah, that’s about a Middle Eastern couple desperately seeking refuge.” (LexiAlex) The life of Jesus is God’s decision to become human, so that we could see that God knows what it is to be human. Jesus (God) said, “Inasmuch as you’ve done it to the least of these (the sick, the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned, the homeless), you’ve done it unto me.” Those are the words of Christmas, too. ;-) Jack
FROM HY YO SILVER: Psh wow. So true! Well done.====JACK: Care for those in need is a "humanitarian" responsibility!
FROM HONEST JOHN: Actually, I think, the Moses story bears a closer relationship to the present situation.....fleeing oppression, desert wandering, coming in droves, of a different breed.....something to be learned there.====JACK: Agreed, but at this time of the year, I think that people need to be reminded that the Bethlehem story has relevance in today's world.
FROM JB IN OLV: Perfect!====JACK: So many opportunities to "do it unto me," as Jesus said.
FROM TARMART REV: . . . they eventually killed that couples' Son, if I remember correctly . . . they came fulfilling God's Master Plan, as I believe our current refugees acquiring shelter are doing the same, the vast majority being no problem at all at the present . . . interestingly for me anyway, is to note that out of all the world's religions, the Christian and Muslim faiths are front and center at the present time. If the majority of both were not so passive about their Written Documents of faith, but became radical to read, implement and carry out its direction and model for implementation, as the fewer are doing now in both camps-- What a Armageddon it could possibly be!? Stayed tuned!! ====JACK: Yes, it would be radical if those call themselves "Christian" would love as Jesus calls them to love. It would make headlines....in BOLD print!====REV: I would like to think of the true Christians being like those Germans that secretly housed those Jews the politically correct religious Christians of Germany wouldn't have anything to do with...I have those Muslim here in Willmar who would be very welcomed in my home...hard to fight the institutional churches and governments, as your good friend Martin found out and as many others theologians did as well. My notice throughout the Scriptures is that the God-fearing Jews and later the Christians seemed to be operating and walking out there faith through supressive situations, with the exception of America the first 200+ years...we might be seeing the last of that era coming to an end as the trend is currently moving away from being deemed a Christian nation ...you and I most likely will not experience this as others will down the road. The best is yet to come for you and Me in the not-too-distant future. Been a nice ride though here in America over my lifetime. Christians don't seem to fare as well in the Muslim countries in the Middle East...but would hopefully think there would be some Muslims that would do the same there, if called upon to do so.====JACK: What is a Christian nation?
FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: touche' That surely is appropriate at this time. Always good to read your Winning Words. Thank you.====JACK: "Most of the time" our focus is on seeing the Christmas story as a long ago event and trying to recreate it. I like it when today's news makes it an "AHA!" event.
FROM DR J: LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!====JACK: There's a Christmas carol, "Love Came Down at Christmas." It was written by Christina Rossetti. Her works are favorites of mine.
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas, Star and angels gave the sign.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: What's always impressive to me about the Christmas story is the guidance by angels and dreams and a star and so forth throughout. I wonder what would happen in our contemporary time if we could truly believe that people are being guided like back then. If we are able to believe that God has His reasons and He is guiding people we do not know yet but to "get on the train of history, it is necessary to take a risk. Love sure but risking on the future even when love doesn't feel so concrete now for the strangers who are coming to our land" just like back in the day. ====JACK: There are some who believe that the Spirit of God actually guided the hands of the Gospel writers. Without denying that (because I actually don't know), I believe that the Spirit of God is able to connect with our spirit, so that the mind of God can be an influence upon us. I like the hymn, "Guide me, O, Thou Great Jehovah...."
FROM A CHALDEAN FRIEND: Amen.====JACK: Were you once considered to be a refugee?
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: What do you think about the “zombie nativity” in Ohio? I’ve not read interviews with the family who has it on the lawn but it’s created quite a stir. Some people really like zombies. It might not be as disrespectful as folks think – are there always two sides? Your sister gave me my favorite nativity which depicts small school children doing the Christmas story. I think it’s lovely and meaningful. In Mexico they go crazy with the nativity scene…life size, in sand on the beach and in every nook and cranny of the hotels inside and out. Again, I think the various depictions of different races or social statuses show more that the story is for us all….====JACK: I remember when a "black" congregation moved into a church that a "white" congregation had left. In front of the church was a picture of Jesus. One of the first things they did was repaint Jesus' face to resemble that of an African-American. Anything wrong with that? I might have a problem with painting Jesus as a zombie, but....====BB: I had all of the beautiful Jesus pictures in our home as a child; a lot of good Shepard back in the day. Now I think if he came in lowly form he might’ve been homely rather than fair…it does not matter. What’s inside is what counts! I like that the African American’s made the church feel like home.====JACK: "Reality" is the theme of today's world, so Jesus is now pictured to look like a Middle-Eastern man, bearded and swarthy.
FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: Our Bible Study for the past weeks has been studying Islam. I've learned a lot. It is the program developed by LSS. We have a large Somalian Community in St Cloud. And there are times I would prefer they become "more like us". Some of their customs are difficult to appreciate. I am glad to be involved in the Bible Study.====JACK: I like Bible studies that connect the words of the Bible with what's going on in the world around us. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in today's world the good neighbor could be a Somali. Picture that!
FROM BLAZING OAKS: AHA! THE RELAVENCE OF THE CHRISTMAS STORY TODAY. AND WHO WILL HAVE ROOM IN THE INN ??!! IT IS CERTAINLY A PRESSING (ALMOST INSURMOUNTABLE) PROBLEM WORLDWIDE! BUT AS YOU SAID EARLIER, THOSE WHO CARE WILL FIND A WAY, AND THOSE WHO DON'T WILL FIND AN EXCUSE. AS CHRISTIANS, WE SHOULD CARE!====JACK: It's interesting that some of the politicians who are trying to curry favor with evangelicals are speaking in terms that run counter to what "evangelical" is supposed to stand for.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: it's about taxes, actually.====JACK: ...so it says...or a census on which taxes were based. The fact remains that Joseph and Mary were turned away and had to find a "make-do" shelter.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: The spirit of Christmas is alive and well around here, thank goodness.====JACK: In what way?