read: “Are you the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?” John’s disciples asked Jesus. “Go and tell John, ‘The blind see . . . and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed are those who take no offense at me.” -from Matthew 11:2-11
reflect: If what you know of Christmas is from malls and concerts, parties and Christmas radio, what Jesus said makes no sense. How could anyone take offense at Christmas? Yes, some are offended by hearing “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” But that’s not the offense Jesus is referring to here. The followers of another major religious leader in Jesus’ day come to see if Jesus is the Messiah they have been awaiting, and Jesus tells them what the prophet Isaiah wrote is happening: people are becoming whole again.
This may offend, Jesus says: when the poor are told good news. What good news could possibly come to the least and the lost in our world that would be offensive?
How about “God is with you”?
With you, not only to comfort you in your situation, but to change everything! So that minimum wage workers get paid enough to feed their families, and products we buy cheap from China have to be made in fair working conditions, and slumlords have to fix the apartments they own, and inner city children get the same education as kids in the suburbs! Feeling offended yet? I know some of these things would make changes in my own life. Am I ready for that?
pray: Jesus, since you are coming again, help me to have your values now, so when you come, I won’t be offended. Amen!
with children: Show your child the website for Ten Thousand Villages, which tells stories abut the people who made the products: tenthousandvillages.com Talk about who makes the things you buy for Christmas.
act: Have you bought your Christmas coffee yet? Here’s a way to support coffee growers fairly: http://equalexchange.coop/our-partners/interfaith-partners/disciples-christ