From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Blessed...” (Matthew 7:6)
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
In my office on Friday, an insightful observer made an interesting remark: “Zach, have you noticed how bland holiday commercials are? It is as if they are trying to avoid any connection to Christmas.”
Now, reader, I ask you: is that such a bad thing? Before you shake your fist and think that the Presby-terian pastor doesn’t want Jesus to be mentioned in the public square, let us think about Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:6.
Christmas is when we celebrate the person and work of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospels, in His Word. This is the pearl of great price, who on finding it, he goes and sells all he has and buys it. Jesus’s name and His truths are precious treasures, not to be trampled underfoot. Or to put it in terms of today - Jesus’ name is too precious to be used so poorly.
Truly, our culture shatters the Third Commandment (“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”) each and every holiday season when the name of Jesus becomes fodder for our consumer-driven society.
This is something that well understand. How many women have fine china that only gets used for special occasions? Why? It is too valuable to treat like a paper plate. How many men get upset when someone uses their wife’s name in a disgraceful way? Why? Because she is too valuable.
When Christmas comes around and we hear the name of Jesus - the Son of God Incarnate who bore all the miseries of this life and the wrath of God for our salvation - when we hear His name, how should it be treated? As something valuable.
Now, when the fine china is valued as much as a paper plate but still has to be washed and handled in an oh-so delicate fashion, how do you think the owner of the plates will be treated? Of the wife being discussed in a disgraceful way, how do you think they will treat the husband?
The answer to both is “not good.” Or to use the words of Jesus, “lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Need I make the connection to today? Treating Jesus’ name poorly reflects poor on Him and poor on us.
Reader, don’t bemoan the fact that our secular society aims to take the Christ out of Christmas. Instead, let me make three suggestions.
One, praise God that His name is no longer used so poorly. His name is too valuable! Two, pray that the Spirit would be poured out, enlightening the eyes of their heart to see the beauty and majesty of Christ (Eph. 1:16-21).
Pray that they would see His value! Finally, I would encourage you this year to make Christmas special - not for the gifts, not for the food, but for Christ. Talk about him with your friends and family, share the joy of Christ, but do it in tones of warmth and affection. Treat His name as something precious, as a pearl of great value, because it is.