When someone stole the sign proclaiming The Winter Solstice on Friday (CNN, Missing atheist sign found in Washington state, December 12, 2008), the community of believers received a just criticism because of the acts of one or more, “I guess they don't follow their own commandments” (Annie Laurie Gaylor, Freedom From Religion Foundation). Stealing sets an example and teaches the best that can be done to articulate one's faith in Jesus (see God the Son, Messiah of Israel) , enjoyment of Christmas (see History and Celebration) or belief is to suppress another's by uncharitable means, which cancels out the message that I find in Scripture, and the essence of the message found in other world views that promote good will.
Ms. Annie Laurie Gaylor's perception must be acknowledged if we are to maintain integrity, because it is from that place we can continue to proclaim the Scripture's message in a healthy dialogue that models for our children the manner by which we are to conduct ourselves. In the bible, I have read on Christian suffering:
“...Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, then for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:15-17).
After all, who among us have not struggled with our faith at some point, and have struggled with wondering, if there is a god? What does our faith mean? What is the meaning of life? I have, and at times those periods have been long. The sign in my opinion speaks in part to the valley we must all traverse. Some find their hope in various faiths, some find their celebration in Winter Solstice, and I in my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, who brings me joy and salvation (Christmas Chants - Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo).
As a parent, I think it helpful to remember this is life, and events such as this serve as opportunities for education of my children and myself so that I may give an account of my hope. This is our prep school for this life and the next. It is better to proclaim than attack, and a well articulated proclamation in word and deed carries the message of the season.
With that, I respectfully wish Ms. Annie Laurie Gaylor, a happy Winter Solstice during this time of year.------------
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