Indulge me for a moment.

I don’t care if you say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

I don’t care about your political beliefs.

I don’t care about your sexual orientation.

I don’t care about a lot of things.

Here’s what I do care about:

I am thankful and blessed that I have an unearned relationship with God.

The Christmas Story and the Easter Story all wrapped up in one is a pretty simple story.

According to the Bible, after Adam & Eve doubted God and gave in to temptation, sin entered the world, and we were all doomed.

Doomed to never measuring up, because we, as humans, sin.  Fast forward to a couple thousand years ago and we have the Christmas Story.

Jesus is God in the flesh and lived on earth for around 30 years.  He lived a sinless life and then became the perfect sacrifice for all mankind when he died on the cross.  God accepted this sacrifice and raised Jesus from the tomb. That’s the Easter Story.

I have my doubts that Jesus was born on December 25th.  But that doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I know that I have accepted God’s gift of an eternal life in His Heaven.

That last sentence includes some very important words.

God’s version of heaven is not some earthly good time, or place on this planet.  It’s where our souls go when our bodies die, if…

If we have accepted this gift.

It is a gift, not a reward or bonus for doing anything.

Some choose not to accept.  Some don’t believe it’s this simple.

Head knowledge isn’t enough.  This is a step of faith.  Doesn’t take a lot of faith.  Just enough to say yes to the gift.

You’re not going to become a perfect person.  You’re not going to become free from temptation.  You will still sin, and fail and fall and be unworthy to enter heaven. Except God will forgive you. It’s that gift of forgiveness that is your golden ticket, except instead of a lifetime supply of sweets, you gain eternal life in heaven.

That’s the basics of my faith.

I have friends and family who are on different spiritual paths, whatever that means, and I will not judge or condemn them, that’s not my role.  Instead I will continue to pray for them, that God will work in their lives and mine too to guide and direct us to a deeper understanding and faith.

And continue to welcome them into our home and lives during this holiday time and anytime.

Have a very Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate.