I got an email and saw the same posted on Facebook in the last few days – words purported to be spoken as commentary on TV. Funny thing, though, they included words about forwarding the email.
These days when I get these kind of emails, I go to snopes.com or truthorfiction.com to see what they say about them. Then if I’m in the mood, I usually let the senders know they have been spreading a lie.
The email was about Christianity and society’s intolerance of it. But I found it ironic that an email full of falsehoods is advocating tolerance of a religion that is all about not lying and is being forwarded by Christians.
Check out this verse in the Bible:
You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. – Exodus 23:1
Snopes.com, people, before you send that email to all your friends. If you want to be considered credible, you really need to be careful what you repeat.
I think I know what’s going on though. I’ve come to the conclusion that we are living in a time of great fear. People are not relaxed anymore. People are uptight about so many things. There is a lack of grace. The news feeds into this. Our entertainment feeds into this. These emails feed into this. I mean, didn’t we see it in this last election? The fear? It gripped me, too. It grips me, too, if I let it. And sometimes it’s so easy to let it.
Until I remember Jesus. He lived in a time full of trouble. I mean, look at the Roman government. They had this horrible thing called crucifixion and people were milked by the tax collectors and so much more. It was really, really bad back then. But Jesus walked through that world teaching his followers – and us, if we’ll read what was written down from that time – a better way to live. His words bring peace into a chaotic world. It really is simple. Love God and love others. Treat other people as you would want to be treated. Be kind. Be gentle. Be patient. Exercise self-control. Be a peacemaker. Don’t gossip.
And with this, you will leave the fear behind and it won’t matter what the rest of the world is doing or saying. You can’t control other people and their reactions anyway. But you don’t have to be sucked into the scaries. Christ is not going to be squashed by a society that doesn’t want to acknowledge him in the public square anymore. Christ lives in his followers who dwell in this country and are praying for it and are quietly going about their business shining his light into it. He’s still here, and in better ways than a creche in a town square. And Christmas trees? They aren’t really the Jesus part of Christmas, anyway. And you really still can say Merry Christmas to anyone you feel like saying it to.
The world is in need of a savior. And he’s there waiting for all of us. Let this be the Christmas we all leave behind the fear and rumors and turn to Jesus instead.