December 12, 2011
(Jesus said) "But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for My Name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict." Luke 21:12-15
"He's making a list, checking it twice, going to find out who's ..."
Did you fill it in correctly? Of course, you did. You know the end of the lyric reads, "going to find out who's naughty or nice."
Of course, most people think the "he" in that song is Santa. Not anymore. Santa has been moved to the side, and the people making the good-bad decision are the atheists. It's true. This Christmas season, in select communities, billboards are going up which read "Bias Against Atheists is Naughty, Not Nice."
Excuse me? Did I miss something here?
Let's see, how many Christians have taken atheists to court this year because they didn't display a cross or because they didn't say a prayer or because they didn't put up a crèche set or because they didn't say "Merry Christmas"? Do you want me to go on? I can. The courts are filled with atheists, who are trying to rewrite our nation, our history, our traditions ... who are trying to eliminate all public worship of the Savior.
I don't think we're the biased ones here.
And if Christians fight back, if they take a stand, well, the word is out: we're being naughty, not nice.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
Jesus said it would happen. He said naughty folks would lay their hands on us, that they would deliver us to the people in authority.
He also said those were the moments we should bear witness. Even more, He told us He would be with us, giving us that which needed to be said -- giving us a witness that wouldn't be liked, but which would be incontrovertible.
For example, one such word of witness you could give might be this: The Lord Jesus grant you a blessed Christmas.
Then leave it up to the listener to decide whether the sentence is naughty or nice.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, shortly after You were born, King Herod said You were naughty, not nice. He tried to have You murdered. This Christmas there are those who think the same way and they would have You banished. In such a world may we proudly proclaim the grace of God who was born in Bethlehem to die, so we might live. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries