Tuesday, December 12, 2023


The church is like a string of Christmas lights - created to bring joy and hope into the darkness. But as we said yesterday, if the church lets even one of her bulbs go out, she loses her light entirely. 

But there's something else about that string of lights that is equally true, something that we can't afford to ignore, and that is this: 

The church has within it that one special bulb, that one special piece, that makes the whole set twinkle. 

You know what I'm talking about - I'm talking about that special little red-tipped bulb you can put into the first receptacle in your string of lights, and all of a sudden, it isn't just a string of lights any more; it's a string of twinkling lights. It's a string of blinking lights. Not only a signal, a beacon in the night, but something that almost sort of dances to its own synchronization. 

Twinkling lights have an altogether different feel to them. The way they move, the way they dance, it keeps drawing attention to them. It keeps drawing an onlooker back in. 

Christmas decorations as we know them are breathtaking, but add a little twinkle into those lights, and it seems like something new every few seconds. Something newly amazing, newly wonderful, fresh and exciting every time those lights come back on. 

For the church, that little red-tipped bulb that puts the twinkle in our light...is Jesus. 

It seems so silly to say that. It seems so silly to have to say that. But the truth is that the church, over the past few decades, in her attempt to be less "offensive" to the world (which she thinks will draw more folks into the church, but actually, it just convinces them the church has nothing particularly special to offer them) has so often pushed Jesus to the edges, if they even still include Him at all. 

Churches form groups and they go out and serve in their communities. Maybe they wear matching T-shirts with their church logo on them, but many are very careful these days not to mention Jesus. We're not out here trying to "shove God down anyone's throat." We don't want to lose our opportunity to serve because someone isn't a believer and is "offended" by Jesus. We don't want to be those people. 

So..we're pretty, but we're boring. We're exciting at first, but it grows stale pretty quick. We bring light to the world, perhaps, but that light always stays right where it's at. It doesn't quite dance. It just...is. 

It's so strange to me, we spend so much of our time trying to convince the world that we're not "that kind" of "Jesus people." We're "just" persons who love God and come together to do good things for our community. 

What, exactly, is wrong with being that kind of Jesus person? 

I'm serious. What is so wrong about being a little bit offensive? Especially in a world, we have to add, that is offended by literally everything

I'm telling you - Jesus is the thing that makes us not boring. He's the thing that makes us twinkle. He is the red-covered, blood-covered, blood-stained Savior that makes us dance in the dark. That makes it obvious that something newly amazing, newly wonderful, fresh and exciting is happening every time our light sparkles. Every act of love is something breathtaking. 

Without Jesus, we might be pretty. And that's nice. 

But put Jesus into that first spot, make Him the star of the show, and the church is captivating.  

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