(Jesus said) "Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of My Name, because they do not know Him who sent Me." John 15:20-21
There is any number of Scrooge-like candidates we could include in our devotions this week. We could point to the Chinese government, which has shut down some of the largest underground house churches in the country. We could refer to the leadership of various chain stores who limit the responses their staff can make to a customer's, "Merry Christmas!"
The subject of this devotion is the principal of Bellview Elementary School in Ashland, Oregon. Although the Supreme Court allows Christmas trees, the principal believes Christmas trees and Santas are religious symbols and must be banished from the corridors and rooms of her school.
The logic goes like this: Somebody might look at the Christmas tree or Santa Claus and they may consider these things religious and possibly be offended.
Wow! That's a lot of mights and mays and possiblys.
In the spirit of being consistent, I wonder if the principal is going to banish Valentine's Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Martin Luther King was a preacher, you know). She has to get rid of Halloween, which is holy to the Wiccans. What is the principal going to do with Thanksgiving Day? There's no point in having Thanksgiving Day if you've got nobody to be thankful to.
I wonder if the principal is going to show up for work on December 25th. Consistency demands the national holiday Christmas not be celebrated and, as long as the principal is showing up, there had better be a rule saying the teachers and students should show up, too. Don't want to give anybody the wrong impression by celebrating Christmas.
There is no doubt in my mind the principal is trying to do the right thing, the proper thing, and the politically correct thing. Sadly, it's the wrong thing to do.
Far better to join the shepherds, to join us at the Bethlehem manger and see this thing, which has come to pass, which the Lord has told us about -- far better to see the Savior, Christ the Lord.
If the principal looks, if she really looks with the eyes of faith given by the Holy Spirit, she will see the greatness of God's grace, the joy that comes in seeing the Savior who will give Himself so we could be saved.
If that day comes, Jesus will not be banished; He will be welcomed as the Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord I pray the Holy Spirit will be especially active in the lives of those who think they're doing the right thing when they, in the name of political correctness, try to banish the Savior. May they see the Christ, trust Him, and be brought to faith in Him. This I ask in the Name of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries