“Where’s the ginger?”
It’s hard to make gingerbread cookies without ginger. Being the unimpressive cook that I am, I rarely use ginger. It makes for an interesting search when I do. Sometimes we use least the things we need most.
Ginger is an interesting thing, really. It is a spice, if you will, that “makes lively.” It is described as pungent; it’s flower, fragrant. The adverb and adjective associated with ginger, gingerly, however, conveys caution, great care, delicacy, carefulness.
Funny how even gingerbread cookies can usher me to Christ. If all the world was a cookie, Jesus would be the ginger.
Mild, he lays his glory by.
Mild? How could the God of heaven and earth be mild? Look at who he is! Look at what he’s done! He’s a lion! Strong, wild, fierce, and fragrant. Described as the wellspring of the joy of living! He gives life to life itself! Yet he is mild, delicate, and careful as he comes to us. There is an aura of gentleness which enters with Christ at Christmas.
Gentleness – the fruit I have most trouble growing on my spiritual tree. Little wonder why its it’s the word that hangs crooked above my doorway. How many times I tried to straighten that rascal! Only to to rework it crooked once more. Even my home decor testifies against me.
Therefore, may I offer my apologies in advance if the following turns into a diatribe of sorts. That is not my intent. I just have some…thoughts.
Brothers and sisters, when I hear this war between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” I don’t know whether to conceal my Jesus fish and pretend I don’t know you or sarcastically make excuses for the nonsensical ignorance of us all. Instead, these are the things I try to think of: mildness; gentleness; joy; Jesus; caution; carefulness; spice; life; ginger.
Jesus was not one of these things. He was all of them. Shouldn’t we be?
May I just offer this: Friends, if you are offended when people say “Happy Holidays” you are part of the problem. If you are offended when people say “Merry Christmas” you are part of the problem. Both groups are acting in self-motivated, self-protective, self-righteous, self-seeking modes. And that’s a little bit too much self for any good man’s spirit of Christmas.
If a person is offended by a clerk that wishes them a Happy Holiday instead of a Merry Christmas, that person has ceased to be a source of Jesus’ joy whilst claiming to represent him. There is no love found in our insistence upon anything others must do, let alone a mere preference in favor of our religious holiday.
If the world misses Christ because “Merry Christmas” becomes an illegal expression, we must not look much like the Christ we are celebrating! He is in us! We are his people! The ginger is inside the cookies, folks, with or without those two words in tandem, the world ought to taste and see that the Lord is good! His fragrance is lively because he lives in us! It is rancid to some and aromatic to others. Love him or hate him, you can smell out a joyful Christian a mile away.
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
He is the source of joy in our very life! Banning “Merry Christmas” cannot hide that kind of heart! When we fight for a cause we are usually avoiding having to fight against our own pride, self-righteousness, and lack of love for those unlike ourselves.
On the other hand, if you are the grinch who bans “Merry Christmas”, why? Is it not also pride, self-interest, and intolerance? If you don’t believe in Jesus, the fairy tale words of people who do should not much matter to you. I reckon “Merry Christmas” should sound like no more than a child saying “Pink elephants and green aliens, Mr. Have a nice day.”
And what of this Exodus movie? I’ve yet to see it but the reviews are out in droves. “It’s unbiblical!” (Was there ever a doubt about that one? It’s Hollywood, people!) “They make God out to be a monster, angry and without grace!” (They’re not the ones getting their theology from Cinema 6, guys.) And my personal favorite, “Don’t support this movie if you are a Christian!”
Um. Listen, folks. I can count on my fingers the movies I’ve enjoyed watching and not been grossly offended by – and I read reviews before I ever set foot into the theater. Where are you when those movies come out? You’re there, watching them, asking me why I’m such a prude. Most movies today are chalk full of profanity, lust, scandalous dress, witchcraft, and every form of darkness you can imagine. Here, we have a movie that initiates conversations about who God really is. Christians will watch Twiglight, the Hunger Games, Shades of Grey, and every other fad movie series whether it is God-honoring or not calling it “Christian liberty” while shunning Moses and Noah for flaws. If we know who God really is, why does Hollywood’s misrepresentation so anger us? We know they don’t understand or hold in high honor the words of scripture. Do we really think God needs us to defend him? Can he not defend his own reputation? I think this public shaming of movie-goers starving for the supernatural and loud boycotting tactic also misrepresents and dishonors him, guys. Watch their version and review it. Clarify their error and share the gospel of truth! Stop acting like self-righteous monks who don’t watch unbiblical movies! Who of you has not seen Frozen?! No one believes that you don’t watch unbiblical movies!
I’m pretty sure I ran out of ginger somewhere along the way. Sometimes we use least what we need most. Signing off to seek my source. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Peace, Love, and gingerbread.