"What is that to you? You follow me!" John 21:20-24
IN my insatiable curiosity about what makes other people tick I can get lost in a maze of my own making. It takes the Lord to straighten me out. Thorny dilemmas. If the Lord prayed that we should all be one then shouldn't we all be on the same path? Yadda, yadda. And I know, because I've been told, & I've been shown, that the Lord is separating His people, calling them out from amongst the worldly & I know the call is to repentance, to holiness, to righteousness ~ and the call is for the church as a whole, who have fallen so far from the high ideals of the gospel.
And it's a right royal pain in the whasit, you know, because there are things I do not have licence to partake off while the bulk of the church prances on it's merry way totally oblivious & my sense of the justness & fairness of things gets slightly warped because, why is it ok for them but not for me? You can see where this sort of thinking lands me. Yes?
So holding my pity party for one & having a good old whinge in the Lord's ear about my self~induced muddle I was brought up short. "What is that to you? Follow me." Ummm......Okaaay. Yikes. I've been told.
Because: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me....And that is the bottom line, isn't it? In some way or fashion every single Christian should be hearing from the Lord & obeying His direct commands. I am not accountable before the Lord for others, only for myself, & so I know I will be making some changes, gradually because I'm not the most organized of people & the Lord in grace & mercy gives me a fair bit of leeway to meander into line in my own lackadaisical fashion ~ but fall into line I must.
So chatting to the Lord about another of my quandaries because I know my history & that means I have serious issues with the whole Christmas trad thing, which is pagan to the very core ~ do some reading for yourselves if you don't believe me 'cause I can rant till the cows come home & the majority of Christians won't be moved ~ & I figured the Lord would have an opinion, don'tcha know.
Now I could give you a history lesson on the pagan heart of Christmas but there are plenty of sites round that do a much better job than I can; or I could point you to the scriptures that can be used most effectively to point out Christmas trees et al are beyond the pale but I figure if you've read them & breezed on then why bother? Besides a number of my issues are directly related to our time working with the homeless because you have to question something that sparks peak amounts of domestic violence & family breakdown ~ but that's me. You try looking into the eyes of some kid who knows they can't go home for Christmas & that there will be no presents, no festive cheer for them & their place of refuge is likely to be closed for the day while someone else celebrates. Yeah. It can make you jaded.
So I asked. I can't say I got a nice clear answer of the sort I like but I did get an answer because the Lord knows we have always been very low key about the whole Christmas deal. At best the Lord is indifferent to our participation. He would prefer we didn't & He has given me a number of ideas for changes I can ~ & will be making, over the next few years.
The thing is the Lord is all for celebration. So much so He laid down the times & seasons for us to celebrate & we have been making our first exploratory steps in this new direction because we are meant to be a distinct people, separated from the world ~ not for legalism's sake but because there should be a discernible difference that separates a believer from a non~believer as a witness & a testimony. I am starting to think different people get given a different witness in this area. The whole idea of plainness obviously comes to mind but I do not have the usual call to plainness. Nothing, for me, seems to follow the "usual" lines.
As we, obviously gentile, will be grafted into the root & stock of Jesse the Lord has been directing ~ & redirecting~ my attention back to His premises ~ not to put us under the Law because the Law cannot save but as a declaration of difference, separateness, sanctification, ~ & the grace & mercy of the Lord.
Just why this is so I'm not sure. I suspect it is to do with the promise the Lord gave me that all our children would be taught of Him Himself & that His word would not depart from our household. Which is not to say we are anything special because we're not, just that because of that He wants clear delineation lines drawn up. So I have been looking at these ~ so lovely! I just adore candle light, don't you? And these.
Yes I know all these are outward things & the Lord looks on the heart. People don't. On the whole people look on the outward things & when they can see a discernible difference they are much more likely to question. At least, that's the theory.
And the clincher? As my Dino has grown in the Lord he has begun to question & he has landed pretty much where I have. Why does the church not teach us how to walk in the old paths wherein we might find rest for our souls? Um ~ 'nother history lessons on the roots of paganism & witchcraft in the early church. *sigh* So, yeah. And you know, I am up to my ears in paper 'cause that child is looking at heading into theological college next year & you know, don't you, who will be fielding the thorny questions, being the sounding board, referred to on research questions.
And all this without neglecting the greater questions of loving each other, our enemies & the Lord our God.