So it is Christmas Eve, 2013 but not everything is as idyllic as it usually is: the children aren’t nestled all snug in their beds (now-a-days we parents are asleep first); none of us have visions of sugar plumbs (whatever they are); Ma isn’t in her kerchief (whatever that is) and I’m not in my cap (but a good idea for my poorly insulated scalp).

As people of faith, this should be the hap-hap-happiest time of the year but unfortunately there are certain ‘issues’ that are weighing heavily on the evangelical community that are making it difficult to celebrate.  Well, weighing heavily on some of you – I’m doing just fine, thanks.

So, as my gift to you this Christmas season, I am going to remind you of those major issues and provide a simple solution for each so you can enjoy the rest of the season.  You’re welcome.

Issue: The typical seasonal angst that comes with seeing and hearing the words “Happy Holidays” instead of the more traditional  “Merry Christmas”.

Solution: Continue to use the term Merry Christmas as you see fit since we live in the safest place on earth to speak and express your faith.  Try to enjoy all those movies and public carols that still carry the story of Jesus to public places. But do us all a favor and and express yourself in a way that demonstrates the true love, humility and justice that Jesus came to earth to exemplify.

Issue: The A & E network suspended production of the reality show Duck Dynasty because of supposedly anti-gay comments made by Phil Robertson.  If you live in your car, or don’t have cable TV, or only watch Adventures in Odyssey videos, you might not know what Duck Dynasty is, so let me help you – imagine ZZ Top in camouflage only with redder necks.  (Oh, and it seems his last name isn’t ‘Duck’ – totally missed that…)  Anyway, the suspension of the show apparently means that Christians no longer have freedom of expression.

Solution: Perhaps the scales of freedom are unbalanced but this is not, repeat not, persecution, it is loss of privilege.  But please, do us all a favor and and express yourself in a way that demonstrates the true love, humility and justice that Jesus came to earth to exemplify.

Issue: It doesn’t feel like Christmas.

Solution: Remember that Christmas isn’t about you.  You don’t have to perform or impress or have everything perfectly wrapped, baked, decorated.  Instead, read and imagine again the story of those two young parents, an immoral, evil culture, and a baby born in the presence of farm animals.  There is true magic in the simple narrative of the Incarnation (which literally means, “to make into flesh”).  Theologian Elton Trueblood said, “The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God. It is far more radical than that. It means that God is like Jesus.”

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  Our faith should not be about feelings or issues, it should be about that Jesus.