I was just going to write a short “Merry Christmas” message today. But I saw some breaking news… and I couldn’t help but consider it a Divinely-timed message for this Priceless Day.
The location? Gettysburg, Pennsylvania… but perhaps this is repeated in other locales around our nation? A religious holiday display is at the center of a dispute between two residents and their neighborhood homeowner association.
Mark Wivell decorated his home for Christmas on December 16. His yard decore includes a display in his mulch bed that says “Jesus.” Honoring The Reason for The Season — the birth of Jesus Christ.
Wivell and his wife were shocked to receive an email just days later from their homeowner association. They were asked to remove the display because one of their neighbors had complained the sign was offensive.
Wivell was at first shocked it offended somebody, but then later concluded “in today’s world” he shouldn’t have been.
In its email, the homeowner association claimed it was not concerned with the content of the sign, only that it was not in accordance with normal Christmas decorations. It asked that the sign be taken down.
The dispute ultimately hinges on whether the display is considered a sign or a decoration. Wivell says it is a decoration helping to promote what Christmas is all about — the birth of Jesus. The association says it is a sign. The association has not yet formally cited the Wivells for the display, but has sent two emails about the matter.
The residential community, The Courtyards, is located near The Links at Gettysburg Golf Course. The golf course issued a statement on social media distancing itself from the homeowner association, saying: “The regrettable incident involving a homeowner and their respective HOA has no reflection on our business, staff or our guests.” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/hoa-wants-family-to-remove-jesus-display/ar-BBHas41?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
What are the lessons for all of us? Here one that occurs to me…
There is a Name above every name. And one day, everyone will acknowledge this Fact. “… at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow… and every tongue will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
Our outward expression of this Fact matters… even beyond those we influence. “… whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will also acknowledge before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before others, I will disown before My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
But isn’t what matters most whatever is in our hearts? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
I could ask many “What do you think?” questions today. But let this be a day to ponder…
How are you acknowledging (celebrating) JESUS this Christmas… even when no one is watching?
Please post your comments below… and have a very Merry Christmas!
Diana Furr, a.k.a. Abba’s Girl
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