Friday, December 23, 2011

The Reason for the Season

In Jim Wallis’s latest email he got my attention with the title: The Night I Left My Church.  In the email he says it happened when he was 15:

“Jim, Christianity has nothing to do with racism.”

That's what my church elder told me when I was a 15-year-old boy. Can you believe that? “That's political, and our faith is personal,” he said.

That's the night I left my church.
This kind of story is all too common. So that's exactly why we founded Sojourners 40 years ago – to call Christians back to a radical Jesus, the one who called us to be with “the least of these,” including those people living with the realities of poverty, racism, and war.
Forty years ago, many Christians didn't understand that we are called to the public meaning of faith, as well as the personal.
Well, I have liked Sojourners for many years now and think highly of their social justice stance that calls into question so much of what the Religious [sic] Right [sic] considers "Christian." I think this story of Wallis's says why so many have had such difficulty with the church. I cannot overlook that a baby being born to an unmarried mother and having to put the child in a manger is pretty radical stuff. Christmas is a message of hope for the least and lost. It is a message of challenge to the rest of us.

Which is why I like this simple reminder of what Christmas is really all about:

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