Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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A couple weeks ago, there was an article in the NY Times about an unusual holiday message -"No God, No Problem. Be good for goodness' sake." Ads with this slogan were going up on city busses.

“We don’t intend to rain on anyone’s parade, but secular people
celebrate the holidays, too, and we’re just trying to reach out to our people,”
said Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the American Humanist
Association. “To the degree that we are reaching out to the godly, it’s just to
say that you can be good without god. So their atheist neighbor down the street
shouldn't’t be vilified as though he is immoral.”

The article mentioned a billboard sign in Idaho that stated: “Good without God. Millions of humanists are.”

It's got me wondering if this is the impression we have left. That the point of God in our lives is so that we may be good. As if morality is our greatest gain, our purpose, our highest destination and end goal in developing and desiring fellowship and communion with, knowledge of, access to our Creator.

The Bible clearly states there is none good, no not one. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Like a leaf, we will fade away. We are dust. Our life on this earth is but a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Sin ensares us. We fall short.

Only God is good.

The thing is, we are not in relationship with God to be good, are we? As followers of Christ, does self proclaimed goodness have to anything at all to do with 'the holiday season'?

Ultimately, most of us come to the end of our own rope where we realize we can't do it alone. We don't want to. There is too much to take on. We are human - vulnerable, fallible, flawed, limited, finite.
All the money in the world, prestige and honor, the broadest protection, the best health care, favor in the eyes of men, it all only goes so far. There is no sure, fool proof way to guarantee the most rewarding, happiest, this life has to offer. Each of us is susceptible, open to so much. Loss, heartache, pain, suffering, death....no one is immune. No one. Obviously, not everyone makes the choice to believe, but so many come to a crossroads, a moment where they just know. This surely can not be all there is.

How we try and try. We safeguard and protect and preserve and work, work, work to improve our odds. Not that there is anything really wrong with that, right? Stewardship is worthwhile. Being faithful with what is entrusted to us, our responsibility. And yet, despite our best efforts to the contrary, it is true. 10 out of 10 people will die.

As we anticipate and celebrate the birth of our living Lord and Savior this Christmas season, the point is not at all that we are to be good. It is much more that we humbly recognize we need Him. We want Him. We adore Him.

It is not about us being anything. We simply receive.

We fall down before Him and worship, our King of Kings! Emmanuel - God with us - The One Who Is Good! No matter what we face, He is there. We have been redeemed, saved, bought with a precious price - the blood of our savior who first came to earth, born in a manger. We did not earn this with our goodness, we were freely given a gift of grace. All praise and glory rightfully belongs to Him.
We have a bright, eternal future, such wonderous hope.
We have a present full of comfort and mercy and peace and joy unspeakable, even amidst the toil each of us will endure.
That, is oh, so very very good.

2 comments:

HMK said...

Beautiful post... thank you!

Holly said...

yes, very beautiful.

it reminds me of the whole "judging the Christian instead of judging the Christ" idea.

it is a Merry Christmas indeed when we see ourselves for the horrid sinners we are and understand that it's the whole reason we needed a baby Christ in the first place.
because we are so NOT 'good'.

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