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There is a Christian Christmas trinket that was popular a while back, and may still be. It’s a reproduction of a nail, supposedly similar to the ones used at the crucifixion, hung from a red ribbon. You are supposed to hang it on a branch inside your Christmas tree, where no one knows it hangs but you. Somehow, this is supposed to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.
Christ, who did nothing in secret (John 18:20; Mark 4:22), often gets tucked away in little nails and pocket crosses, and lost in the clamor of Contemporary music and politically correct "seasons" and "festivals" instead of "holidays." Christians put on Halloween costumes and hang up turkey decorations and hang their stockings by the chimney with care, in hope that St. Nicholas soon will be there. But it’s so easy to hide Jesus from the world.
There are some things we are to hide. We are to hide God’s Word in our heart so we don’t sin (Psalm 119:11). We are to hide the sins of others with love (1 Peter 4:8). We should hide from evil (Proverbs 27:12).
There are some things we cannot hide. We cannot hide our sins from God (Psalm 69:5). Indeed, we cannot hide anything from God, which should give us both fear and great comfort (Psalm 139:1–16).
I remember how, as a (bad) child, I would try to hide from my parents when I did something wrong. Our house was rather tiny, and I was a bit big for my age. Somehow I thought they would never find me behind the chair or in the basement. How foolish was I? How foolish was Jonah to think that a little boat trip would get him away from God? Jesus said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known” (Luke 12:2).
We are often tempted to hide Jesus. We fail to witness or speak up for righteousness. We can be bold with strangers but fearful of family and friends, so we go along to get along. We say quick little prayers, maybe disguised as coughs or sighs, when we eat with unbelievers. Maybe we hide our bible in our briefcase or under our textbook or newspaper, lest anyone see it and ask what it is. We worship Jesus in secret and hide the nails.
Now, Jesus said that we should pray in secret so we don't appear ostentatious. Us, we hide; Jesus, we proclaim. So, pray in secret, and you will be rewarded openly (Matthew 6); live for Jesus in secret, and you will be ashamed (Luke 9:26). How can you exhibit Christ to your world this week?
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12 Oct 2012
Excellent. It's supposed to be "good news" so why do we hide? Personally, I used to witness when feeling good about my walk, with no reservation. Since understanding we are saved by grace through "faith" - I witness even and especially when life's failings overtake me. We aren't saved by works, but faith. It's a trick of the devil to make us feel unworthy, unrighteous, etc., to keep our mouth's shut. We are made righteous by his wonderful blood sacrifice. We are free, and have the keys to set others free.
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