Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Nativity Controversy

One of our condo communities had a seasonal decorations controversy. The condo board, making rules as it always does, allowed a Christmas tree and a menorah as common area holiday decorations and nothing else. When one member of the community added her nativity set to the lobby, it was removed because it was against policy. Thus started the controversy.

Yesterday my boss, who is Jewish, and I discussed the difference between a nativity set and a Christmas tree. Until the next phone call which ended the discussion. But I continued to ponder this.

A Christmas tree is not controversial because, let's face it, what is there to argue about? Do we use gold balls and red bows or Victorian ornaments? White lights or colored lights? Tinsel or garland? Does any of that matter, I mean, really? It is a holiday decoration, festive, bright and colorful. Everyone loves a Christmas tree.

But the nativity is necessarily controversial, a stumbling block really. There is a decision to make, and the consequences are huge. Because the figures in the manger can only be one of two things:

Either Mary is a trampy teen and a liar, Joseph is a foolish gullible man, and Jesus is a bastard. And I am a fool for believing this fairy tale.

Or Mary is a pregnant virgin, Joseph is a young man of great integrity and faith and Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is no longer a infant, tender and mild. Jesus is King of King and Lord of Lords, and someday every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God. Even the condo board members who want to make this decoration go away, will someday bow before Him.

The problem is not how to make things equitable between religious groups. The problem is a choice is demanded. Only one option is true, not both.

The consequences are eternal.

What do YOU choose?

For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NKJ

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