Reading an article in one of my pastor’s journals, I saw the claim that we are living in what the author claimed is a “post-factual society”. By that he meant that many people are accepting as facts things that really have no proven basis. Politics aside, there are beliefs about global warming, genetically modified foods being dangerous, vaccines causing autism, cell phone usage causing brain cancer, the existence of UFO’s, that diet soda is unhealthy, and many more. None of these has any basis in fact, and yet the myths persist. We are awash in misinformation, despite the many sources of information available to us. Some would say that we are suffering from Too Much Information (TMI), Too Much Choice (TMC), and Too Much Technology (TMT).
As a result, it is up to the Church to offer the world around us what our ancestors called “The Gospel Truth.” We need to share what God has revealed to us through His Word and through His Son, Jesus. This is where what we do on Sunday mornings in Worship, with affirming our faith using the words of the Apostles’ Creed, proclaiming the Bible’s message, interpreting it for us today with my sermon, and sharing our witness of how we’ve seen God at work. We also do this with our special services at Christmas, because the world’s understanding of Christmas has gotten influenced by some of that misinformation, too. The Church doesn’t deal mainly with facts, but faith. I believe in the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that because Jesus died on that cross at Calvary, that you and I will be raised like Him, and have that place He is preparing for each of us in Heaven. I can offer no factual support (other than Scripture) for any of these things except for faith. Hebrews calls this, “the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” Christmas is, for me, the beginning of faith. When we add what Jesus did for us through His death and resurrection to His birth, then add faith and belief, we come up with something that will help us cope with this modern, post-factual world and begin to realize what true joy and peace are. God gifts us with these precious gifts and other ‘spiritual fruit’ as we continue our walk with Him through this life and into the life everlasting.
Watch for the things that others offer as truth, and know that only Jesus is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus and a relationship with Him is the real, true gift of Christmas. Each new day is an opportunity to receive this precious gift once again, so don’t miss the gift God has for you in all the other “stuff” going on this time of year.