The Parable of the Missing Butter
I had been working on my chocolate chip cookie recipe through many batches and manifestations and finally felt I had arrived at the perfect cookie, the right ingredients in proper amounts, an oven heated to an exact temperature, and a timed amount of baking on a certain pan of specific thickness.
I had been baking all morning--for company was coming in the evening, the kind of company who knows their cookies...so I double checked each step, meticulously hovering over ever dollop of dough placed and every spatula swipe of cooled but still warm confections.
I was removing the final pan from the oven when my wife burst into the kitchen--she was agitated with some news of great import, I could tell, yet when she saw me amongst my sea of perfect cookies, she paused---
"What is it?" said I.
"Oh dearest," said she, "The cookies! Have you tried them?"
"I was waiting on you my darling!" said I, "You ask as if something is amiss!"
"It is! THEY have struck again, my charming chef! THEY have passed a law that no baked cookies may have butter in them!"
"Nooooo! How could THEY!?"
We both dashed to the counter of cooling cookies and each grabbed a scrumptious disc of culinary perfection, placed them in our mouths, and. . .and. . .
NO BUTTER!!! NOOOOOooooooo!!
How could THEY?? I remember clearly placing the sticks of softened butter into the bowl, it should be impossible for them to remove the butter once it's in the dough...how could THEY do that??
The answer is...THEY can't. If the butter is really in the cookie dough, then there is no way THEY can take the butter out of the batch.
"THEY" can't take the "Christ" out of Christmas either, anymore than "THEY" can take the butter out of cookie dough made in your kitchen or take "prayer" out of schools.
Yep. If the prayer is really in your kids, then prayer will be in their schools. If you put the butter in, it'll be there no matter what.
But I have a little secret for you: I do know who can take "Christ" out of Christmas. . .
That's right...you can take the Christ out of Christmas.
When we complain and whine through the season...
When we attack "THEM" for doing exactly what someone would do who doesn't know Christ...
When we are selfish, greedy, materialistic, impatient, unforgiving (with our relatives?), uncaring, argumentative, and smugly arrogant.
We can take the Christ out of Christmas.
Not THEM, not Hollywood, not Wall Street, not Liberal Media, and not even Wal-Mart...
We are the ones who can take the butter out of the cookies, because we're the ones in the kitchen.
So Matt, you're not bothered about the phrase Happy Holidays or Nativity Scenes disappearing?
Nope. Not one bit.
If the Nativity isn't in your heart, then cheap plastic light-up poorly made-in-China manger scenes (and biblically inaccurate I might add) aren't going to do anything to "win the community for Christ."
Our job isn't to legislate into existence a Christian society, our calling is to demonstrate a Christ is the King community.
And I'm about to go all Grinch on you again (yes, in back-to-back posts!):
The Grinch did a whole lot more than change the name of Christmas--he took it all: trees, gifts, lights, roast beast and even the last ever-loving crumb from the last little mouse. And he didn't stop Christmas at all...not at all!!
You know how you stop "THEY" and "THEM"? You show THEM what a Christ-filled Christmas really is even if they take the Baby Jesus ornaments off the tree in your own living room...you show them what Christ does:
He didn't whine when He was on the cross, when He was afflicted, mocked, ridiculed, naked and beaten...He said "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
How did "THEY" handle that? THEY didn't...and THEY still can't...
And when the Whos down in Whoville didn't blink at what THEY had done to Christmas but decided to have them some Christmas anyways, what happened to THEY's heart? It burst out of its shriveled condition and grew three sizes that day. . .
So, enough says I!
Come on Whos, rise up and have a Christ-filled Christmas no matter what THEY do! We don't use Christmas to send a message to some ambiguous enemy we're at war with, we celebrate Christmas because it's IN us and WITH us. The message naturally shining in us brings redemption to THEY's heart--not forcing them to celebrate our message our way--because there's a vast difference between rubbing a stick of butter on someone else's cookies versus letting them taste a well-baked cookie with the butter already in it.
The Parable of the Missing Butter