NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, December 21st. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Here’s WORLD commentator Kim Henderson on the one thing that really matters.
KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: My aunt on Olive Street sends the first card every year. It’s there in the mailbox the day after Thanksgiving just as sure as a Black Friday sales paper. White envelope. Loping cursive in black ballpoint. Her short-and-sweet “Love, Aunt Elaine” written inside might as well be a Christmas couplet: The card’s here. Get your act in gear.
Maybe that’s why our kids always lauded her card’s arrival with excitement, but me, not so much. Her cards represent the Christmas countdown. They’re paper with anxiety-producing power.
I was still recovering from my turkey act when this year’s card arrived. Someone opened it and bravely left it on the kitchen island, with all its cranberry sauce puddles still waiting to be wiped away.
I don’t remember when I actually took time to read the card, but when I did I found a one-word imperative on its snowy cover: Believe. That’s it. My aunt sent good tidings to the tune of seven letters. B-e-l-i-e-v-e.
Which left me wondering: Just what am I to believe? Seems I’m prodded to “just believe” everywhere I go this season.
The Polar Express wants me to believe I’ll have everything I need, if I just believe.
The instructions on my poinsettias want me to believe I can keep them alive until spring.
My neighbor wants me to believe we have a shot at a white Christmas.
The jeweler wants me to believe Minnie Mouse mother-of-pearl earrings are a meaningful gift.
UPS wants me to believe they’ll be here by 7 tonight.
My father-in-law wants me to believe he can’t come up with a single, solitary thing he’d like for Christmas.
And, oh yeah, the radio wants me to believe this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Maybe it is, but not because of its music or its movies or even its peppermint bark, as grand as it is.
What must I believe? Well, I must believe what the Bible teaches. That Jesus is the God/Man. That He humbled Himself to reveal God to us. That He suffered much that we might live.
Hebrews tells us to take heed against having an “unbelieving heart,” the kind that would lead us away from God. The old Puritan John Owen called that book “The Epistle of Warning,” because there is such a thing as apostasy. Whatever this season calls us to believe, it demands one thing in particular: that we hold fast to our belief in Christ.
Of course, we’re clad in clay, so we will believe imperfectly. But the object of our faith has promised to keep us believing.
So, the Christmas card from my aunt—the one that came straight from Olive Street—is right on spot this year. Yes, it’s right on spot with its one-word admonition.
I’m Kim Henderson.
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