Tuesday, December 20, 2011

While considering the 2011 Christmas missive for the past few weeks, three little words have been tumbling through my mind. "Do something different... something different... do something different." Two phrases have been tumbling around along with those words: Attributed to Einstein: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Attributed to Zig Ziglar: "If you do what you have always done you will get what you have always gotten." Neither attribution is really clear.

I'd like my one chance to impact some of you this year to be radically different. Rather than console you with words of warmth and peace, I'd like to issue a challenge to you and yours this year. That challenge, stated simply, is "Make things different."

What does that mean?

Be cheerful rather than just talking about good cheer.

Be peacemakers instead of offering a glancing acquiescence towards the prince of peace.

Actually be good when you hear the words "goodwill towards men."

Warm someone who is cold rather than roasting chestnuts over an open fire.

Feed someone who is hungry in addition to feasting with your family.

Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it.

Be honest even when it costs you personally.

Swallow your pride and make yourself vulnerable. Let someone else help you.

Love someone with all your heart who can never return your love.

Be different. Do something different. Make things different around you. Christians believe that God did something radically different in the coming of the Christ. With the babe of Bethlehem God declared that he would no longer relate to humanity through laws and prophets, priests and sacrifices, but would relate to them as one person to another, that His reign is here and now, and that no matter what we do to Him, He is still going to love us. That's different. That's Christmas.