I was away from home with my husband and children, celebrating Christmas with extended family. Before the big family gathering on Christmas Eve, we attended a area wide church service. The focus of the service was on the ways Jesus’s birth had disrupted the lives of specific biblical people, Mary and Joseph among them. One common element in their stories stood out-Jesus’ birth did not make their lives easier. In fact, in some ways his birth and his life-and eventually his death-introduced new forms of suffering, making these peoples lives more diffuicult than otherwise would have been.
At the end of the service, the pastor announced everyone in attendance would receive a free book. My family picked up our copy on the way out, and as i leafed through it, I was struck by the way the book’s message contrasted with the theme i had just followed throughout the service. The books main point was essentially this- knowing and following Jesus makes our lives completely satisfiying. We simply need to accept that satisfaction, and live as if its true. for me, the claim was almost laughable in light of the ways of Jesus’ presence disturbed the lives of people who loved him as a baby, a child, and a man. After 40-plus years of knowing and followed Jesus, I can testify this is a false message.
People proclaim this message often do so with good intention-they want others to consider a relationship with Christ, and they draw people in by pointing to benefits that have wide appeal. Ironically, like every false message finding its way into our church’s, thus one has the power to lead people away from the truth and serves as an obstacle to genuine relationship with Christ.
Amy Simpson from from womenleaders.com
Matt. 10:34; “do not think that i have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”