“He Refused to Become That Kind of Leader”

Here are excerpts from a Christmas email sent out by


… With people whipped into a frenzy by right wing pundits, it has become all the rage among certain branches of Christianity to protest by boycotting any retailer who makes mention of “Happy Holidays” or to sue local governments who balk at manger scenes on the town square. All this is apparently done for the purpose of reminding America of the “true meaning” of Christmas.

But boycotts and lawsuits are hardly the substance of the Christmas season, as anyone with only a passing familiarity with the Gospels will no doubt attest.

… Christmas is the reminder that God still is hopeful for us and our futures, and that we have not been abandoned, but that God will be with us until all that is wrong with the world will be made right.

the embodiment of this hope of God came not by way of the great courts and capitals of the world, nor was it preceded by a huge public relations campaign with all of the attendant media hoopla, but rather came to the world in the form of a child born to an unwed, homeless, refugee mother and her fiance in the humblest of shelter.

“Silent night.” “Oh little town of Bethlehem.” The heavenly P.R. managers really blew it on this occasion – one of the biggest Public Relations opportunities in history! They timed the event badly. They scheduled it for a really lousy location; it should have been at least a handful of miles north in the temple in Jerusalem or in Herod’s palace grounds, if not in Rome itself! They blew the bulk of the ad budget on having angels sing to a small bunch of uneducated hourly ag workers out in a virtually deserted countryside.

What’s up with all that? With such poor management it’s no wonder this carpenter-Messiah could not win the support even of the local power-class in Galilee, let alone the provincials in Jerusalem.

Such humility would characterize the child as he grew into manhood. He did not allow the prejudices of his day of religion, ethnicity or health to color his view of the people around him, but rather saw in each of them the image of God and therefore treated them all as neighbors, meeting their needs whatever the circumstance.

Even when such associations were costly to his reputation and even his personal safety, he would not abandon a single person, even one who betrayed him. When some sought to use him for violent political purposes, he refused to become that kind of leader and instead gave up his life to make friends out of his enemies …

We are thankful, Lord, that You are Who You are, and You do things Your way or not at all. In Your case, that is most wonderfully and entirely appropriate!

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