Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The End of Snobbishness

God is deliberately working with people the world despises. The very first witnesses to his nativity and resurrection are people whom the world says you can't trust, people the world looks down on.

Because we don't look down on women today, we don't look at this part of the story and realize what we're being told. But here's what we're being told: Christmas is the end of snobbishness. Christmas is the end of thinking, Oh, that kind of person.

You don't despise women, but you despise somebody. (Oh, yes you do!) You may not be a racist, but you certainly despise racists. You may not be a bigot, but you have certain people about which you think, They're the reason for the problems in the world.

There's a place in one of Martin Luther's nativity sermons where he asks something like, "Do you know what a stable smells like? You know what the family would have smelled like after the birth when they went out into the city? And if they were standing next to you, how would you have felt about them and regarded them?" He is saying, I want you to see Christ in the neighbor you tend to despise - in the political party you despise, in the race you despise, in the class of people you despise.

Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else, because Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you. It is telling you that people who are saved are not those who have arisen through their own ability to be what God wants them to be. Salvation comes to those who are willing to admit how weak they are.

-- Timothy Keller, excerpted from Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus - Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas edited by Nancy Guthrie

2 comments:

Ruth said...

Excellent, Julie. Thank you for sharing this today!

The Virus said...

Thank you for sharing your life with me today. Reading your exert helps put things into perspective. You have given me a wonderful gift today, the gift of an inspired life. Cheers!