God woke up one day and made Himself some tea. He realized that the holiday season was getting near. God started to read the morning paper while petting His cat and wondered about the state of the world. “So much that is wrong in the Earth has been going on in My name.” He thought. “It is no wonder that people have a difficult time believing in Me and understanding the real reason for Christmas. Look at all this chaos!” Then God decided He would clean out His closet and start over, something about the spirit of Christmas was lacking. He would take all the stuff out that was no longer useful and have a yard sale because this would be the season of change.
The first item He pulled off the shelf was PEACE. God dusted it off and took a long, hard look at PEACE. “Peace is just not on people’s minds these days.” God thought. “‘Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men’ has just become a slogan to sell products during the holidays.” Yet God realized that PEACE was a direct result of His even temperament. His entire relationship with mankind had always been based in peace and harmony. No, PEACE was not something He should sell at His yard sale. The problem with the Earth was not PEACE, but a lack of it. God returned PEACE to it’s place on His shelf.
Next God rummaged through various items and pulled out LOVE. God knew that LOVE was the greatest of all emotions. He recalled that His entire creation was formed simply because He loved life and wanted to share it. Because of LOVE, all things existed and were created. He held LOVE close to His heart for a long time. “Love is all you need.” God thought. This was not an item that He could sell at His yard sale. The testimony of God’s LOVE was everywhere in the Earth, all people had to do was look for it. The problems the Earth had now were not caused from a lack of LOVE on His part. God had offered up His Son as a testiment to His Love, that is why Jesus had come into the Earth in the first place. God returned LOVE to it’s rightful place in His closet.
God continued to pull out several other items from His closet. JOY, KINDNESS, RESPECT… each time God examined them and found that there was nothing lacking in any of these qualities. Each served a wonderful purpose for Mankind which would assure his health and well being while here on the Earth. The trouble with the Earth’s inhabitants was not founded in any of these things. So with ever growing confidence and conviction in His stock, each one was returned to God’s closet.
Finally, God removed His golf clubs and tucked way back in the corner was FAITH. FAITH was the thread that bound all the other qualities together and drew them up tight. God knew that for a lack of FAITH all other traits of His Divine personality would be lost amongst Mankind. He wondered about how FAITH might be weak in humans or mis-guided. FAITH and HOPE were the foundation His people leaned upon, surely the problems in the world were not caused by a lack of FAITH. God wondered how the people of the world’s faith might be restored.
But then God had a revelation. People were lacking in FAITH because of how He was being represented. “God does not see us.” some people are thinking. “God does not care about us.” others believed. “God does not exist!” more and more proclaim. “God commands that I do this!” “God is on our side!” “God damned them!” “God declares this!” “God resides here!” “Our God is more powerful!” “God blesses us!”
There were rituals that alienated the people from Him. There were ungodly practices condoned by leaders that confused them. There was pomp and ceremony, riches and alliances, politics and social debauchery which were in direct contradiction to God’s own principles. This caused God a measure of distress, so much so that He took out His beach umbrella and began opening and closing it in rapid succession causing the clouds to swirl above the Earth. But then God remembered His promise never to destroy the Earth by flood again. He put His beach umbrella back in the closet, tucked FAITH up under His arm and decided to go apply for a permit for His yard sale. If FAITH was all that was lacking in people, God decided He would offer it at a discount. In fact, His yard sale wouldn’t be a “sale” at all, but a gift offering to the people of the Earth. All they had to do was believe and it was theirs free of charge. God smiled, it was all very good.
God took His three wheeler downtown and found the code enforcement office. He noticed that the government offices did not have any Christmas decorations. The law had decreed that Christmas was a “religious” holiday and tried to discourage it. God went up to the counter to make His application for a yard sale permit, to be had on the following week-end.
“What do you intend to have at this yard sale?” asked the Man, suspecting anarchy in the quaint old neighborhood in which God lived.
“Oh, it isn’t going to be a yard sale per sa, I’m offering FAITH free of charge.”
“FAITH?” asked the Man, in a sort of mocking tone. “What kind of FAITH?”
“Why,” God replied, “FAITH in ME, in the divine purpose with a HOPE for a better future. For the Kingdom to come and My will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Christmas is a time to reflect on the provision I have made through Christ so mankind can understand PEACE and LOVE on Earth.”
“Well,” the Man imposed an official sounding tone. “You can’t conduct a religious activity without a license and Christmas is a religious holiday. So unless you can show FAITH outside of a recognized affiliation, I’m afraid I cannot grant Your request.”
“But without Me there would be no FAITH!” God was persistent.
But the code enforcement officer didn’t recognize God and demanded proof of His existence. God sighed, He knew that the Earth was full of identity theft and there were many imposter’s going about declaring that they were He. God decided He would pull off a small miracle to prove to the man He was indeed who He said He was.
So God took the Man high up in a condo with a view to the entire world.
“There!” said God, pointing towards Yellowstone National Park. “Old Faithful has been around since the founding of the Earth!”
But the man was skeptical. “Old Faithful is about as regular as a city bus. I’m afraid you’re going to have to do better than that!”
So God pointed to a farmer working in his field. “That farmer plants and reaps what he sows. But without FAITH, he wouldn’t plant because he couldn’t be sure his seed would grow.”
“Naw,” said the code enforcement officer. “Scientists can produce a harvest without soil, it’s called hydroponics. You don’t need rain or sunlight or even a fair season.”
God realized this man was going to be a tough nut to crack, he was very cynical. He worried He might not be able to restore FAITH in Christmas.
“Okay,” said God, “the sun rises and sets with a precision that can be calculated years in advance. FAITH in it’s continued cycle allows for such predictions.”
“Well, so go the Laws of Physics,” replied the Man, “the entire universe has been mapped and calculated with astonishing accuracy. But still there is aways the unknown, the sun may one day die out. Then where will be the planning and predictions?”
So God was perplexed for a moment. It seemed this Man just wanted to be obstinate, which kinda ticked Him off. God pondered changing him into a cockroach but then thought better of it. After all, He wanted people to LOVE Him, not fear Him. Christmas was about a reconciling of FAITH in Him and His Son, Jesus. And besides, God knew He couldn’t go around turning people into cockroaches just for being obstinate, He wouldn’t have time for anything else.
God looked down at a nearby park where an elderly couple sat. They had been married for a long time and God saw that it was very good. This couple had FAITH in each other and that had solidified their LOVE for all those years. When God thought of this FAITH He was very glad He had put His beach umbrella away earlier that day.
“Look there,” said God to the Man, “there is a couple who has FAITH in each other, FAITH in their LOVE and FAITH in their everlasting reward. Surely now you can see that FAITH does exist outside of organized religions.” And with that God gave the Man a view of the entire Earth, so he could see how people from all walks of life, from every background had set Christmas Day aside as an attempt to recognize something better for the world. FAITH was indeed a good thing.
The Man thought for a while. He figured if he thought long enough he could refute God’s logic on FAITH, but decided against it. Anyone who could whisk him away to a condo like this had to be a force worth reckoning with.
“Okay,” agreed the Man, “you don’t have to belong to an organized religion to have FAITH in Christmas. I’ll grant you your permit. By the way… how many floors up are we?”
But God was so excited to receive His permit that He didn’t take time to answer. In the blink of an eye they were back at the code enforcement office and the Man was issuing Him the permit. God rode back home on His three wheeler, grinning ear to ear and squeezing His bell ringer with His thumb the whole way.
Faith is the assured expectation of things not yet realized… you can take it with you everywhere and it doesn’t cost a dime, nor can it be taken away.
Coming to a yard sale near you…