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Week of December 12, 2011 – #918
The Truth Still Rejected
From the Gospel writers we learn some of the particulars of the birth of Jesus Christ —from the amazing appearance of solo angels and a chorus of angels to lowly shepherds visiting the stable and sharing the Good News, from kings who travel from afar, guided by a supernatural star, to a King Herod who was not at all happy about the birth of this baby to Joseph and Mary, and even sought to destroy Him.
The Scriptures don’t tell us that anyone other than Herod was upset about the birth of this One Whose birth was foretold hundreds of years earlier by the prophets. However, we can safely assume that Herod wasn’t the only one who was upset by the news that a new King had been born in Bethlehem.
Jesus’s birth changed the world. Some, like Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna, knew that this was the Messiah, the Promised One Who would save His people from their sins. Others, like Herod, rejected Him and His teachings. Scribes and Pharisees and other religious rulers, as He grew up and began teaching, ministering and performing miracles, despised Him. They were threatened by His life and His teachings. So threatened were they that they ultimately demanded His crucifixion, preferring that a murderer be pardoned and set free rather than the innocent Son of God.
We flash forward some 2000 years—and we find little has changed. Jesus Christ’s life and teachings are still rejected; people are still threatened by the Son of God.
These last couple of weeks have reminded us vividly of these truths. Wisconsin Family Council’s sister organization, Wisconsin Family Action, has, for the first time, sponsored a nativity display in the state capitol in Madison.
The nativity set on display consists of six figures—3 wise men, Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus, with the tallest figures standing about 25” tall. Not a lilfe-sized display, not even one large enough to safely go on the floor. It’s on a small draped table with a sign from Wisconsin Family Action with its name and logo, the words “Merry Christmas” and a verse of Scripture, Isaiah 9:6.
The nativity set, while relatively small, is creating quite a firestorm. The media picked up on this display and stories are flying statewide and beyond, fueled in part by Freedom From Religion Foundation who is definitely among those who don’t like the display. They claim there is no place in the state capitol for anything religious. Never mind that last week, the rotunda was filled with displays that were part of the Interfaith Awareness Week. Everything from Wiccans to Buddhists to Hindus to Orthodoxy to cults such as A Course in Miracles had a display up there. Freedom From Religion folks didn’t say a word, not one word, about all that “religion” on display in the capitol.
But they are objecting to a tasteful, appropriately sized nativity display. What they are really objecting to, however, is the Truth, as represented by the Baby Jesus. Like Herod, the scribes, the Pharisees and hosts of others down through the centuries, the Freedom From Religion folks really can’t handle the Truth.
To admit that Jesus Christ is Who He claimed to be shatters their “there are no gods, no devils, no heaven, no hell” myth. More importantly, to admit the Truth of this Christ Who humbled Himself and came as a baby to a young virgin Jewess and later sacrificed His sinless life for the sins of mankind, is to recognize accountability—personal accountability--to the Creator of the Universe. That’s not something they want—but it is something they will get one day, when they, like all the rest of the world will bow their knee and confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord.
In the meantime, modern day Herods such as Freedom From Religion Foundation will continue to rail, threaten, belittle, mock, scorn, and put up displays that blaspheme the Truth of Christmas. However, those of us who know the Truth—Jesus Christ Incarnate—we will go on secure in our belief that the Baby Jesus is one day returning as King of Kings. May the nativity set in the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda bear silent witness to this amazing, life-saving Truth!
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”