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Saturday, December 1, 2007

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Daniel 7:15-27
Daniel 3:82-87
Luke 21:34-36

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keep christ out of christmas

"The great day will suddenly close in on you like a trap." —Luke 21:34

Once again, Jesus confronts us and commands: "Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords" (1 Jn 2:15). We've been stuffed since Thanksgiving, we're dutifully spending our money for Christmas, and we're being good consumers (if not Christians). At this most inconvenient time, Jesus has the gall to command: "Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares" (Lk 21:34).

Jesus has saved the worst till last. He's telling us to quit eating, drinking, and buying. He tells us to start praying "constantly for the strength to escape whatever is in prospect, and to stand secure before the Son of Man" (Lk 21:36). Jesus is "ruining" the Christmas spirit. He's no fun. He won't play our games. He won't let us run from the realities of sin, selfishness, mass starvation, and gross injustice. Jesus always has to "spoil" things by thinking of the poor, the starving, and the sinners who create these conditions.

No wonder we had to dump Jesus and replace Him with Santa Claus. Jesus just doesn't cooperate. We can't trust Him to conform with our plans and customs. He acts like God. We're sorry, Jesus, but we can't include You this Christmas. If we did, we'd have to change everything, even ourselves.

Prayer:  Jesus, on this last day of the Church year, I surrender my will to You.

Promise:  His "kingdom shall be everlasting: all dominions shall serve and obey Him." —Dn 7:27

Praise:  As the old Church year draws to a close and a new one begins, Lindsay encourages others to make spiritual New Year's resolutions.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing A Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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