On sin, Christmas and 'returning to the fields'

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach

Many are disappointed by the outcome of the 2022 midterms. Without diving into election integrity or who sabotaged what concerns – which merit consideration – a fresh look at scriptural references may energize millions who sat on the sidelines in 2020 and 2022. There are an estimated 210 million Christians out of 332 million people in the U.S. If mobilized, those believers and others of goodwill could win every national election. A better grasp of an authentic biblical worldview could yield victories for the traditional American Dream.

Looking into the mirror, around our home, community, state and nation, yields examples of how America and the world need a Savior. Christmas is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Adam and Eve after they violated the ONLY Divine commandment given in the Garden of Eden.

That command from God was: Do not eat the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden (see Genesis 2:17, 3.3). Imagine! Just one rule from a demonstrably loving God to Adam and Eve who nevertheless were tempted into violating it.

Failing to keep one seemingly easy commandment, how can moderns dare believe that thousands upon thousands of laws, rules and regulations might honorably be kept? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Reflect on life in Eden before the Satanic serpent did his dirty work with his proverbially forked tongue.

  1. The weather in the Garden of Eden must have been perfect, better than Hawaii or Florida. Why? Because Adam and Eve needed no clothes.
  2. Their diet in Eden must have been perfect. Adam and Eve felt no shame without clothes (Genesis 2:25). How many of us looking into a full-length mirror don’t want to cover up imperfections?
  3. Theologically, the garden-like paradise of Eden was a gift from God to that first couple. God doesn’t give bad gifts (Psalm 85:12, James 1:17). Imagine no lawn mowing. No fertilizer or tilling the soil. No weed eaters. No hedging or trimming of any kind. Perfect.
  4. Scripture doesn’t record Adam and Eve quarreling before being tempted. They had clarity of thoughts and hearts.

After pondering that, its hubris to think humanity could achieve paradise on earth crafted by the “progressive” minds of mere mortals.

While planning is useful, we don’t know what the next second brings. “Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, NRSV)

Every problem ever faced by a woman, man, or child is the consequence of a very unpopular three-letter word. Sin. Sin is why we need a Savior! Sin is why we have problems in America and beyond. So, we need Christmas, the event that brought us a Savior.

Jesus wasn’t born in a palace. Nor did his first coming start by riding the clouds of heaven. Rather, Jesus came as an infant whose mother, Mary, gave birth in a stable because there was no room even at the inn.

How have we made room for Him this Christmas season?

Have we pondered the underlying causes of many problems our republic faces?

Have we considered possible cures in an earthly sense for several key challenges?

Mere mortals want “a leader” to save us from inflation, recession, political, economic, social, cultural, media, tech, health, or conflicts of all types. But, biblical lessons tell us that’s absurd.

Every problem we face is tied to moral violations. To improve our home, town, state, or nation, encourage widespread instruction on the Ten Commandments, or the two: love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

We want easy. Sorry, easy ended for humanity with eviction from Eden.

The leader we yearn for, unwittingly or not, is God Himself. All others fall into temptation.

So, do we do nothing?

Await the Second Coming?

Hope to be raptured from the mess deceptive tongues and covetous minds have made?

Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NRSV).

The Christmas story spotlighted what the shepherds did after witnessing God’s plan for salvation. Did they stop shepherding? Luke 2 answers that question.

“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying:

“‘Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom His favor rests!’

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, which was just as the angel had told them.” [Emphasis added.]

Returned where? Luke previously provided the answer: to their fields nearby where they were “keeping watch over their flocks by night.”

After the shepherds (and we) are admonished “not to fear,” after seeing the long-awaited Messiah, they returned to their jobs tending sheep. But they did so glorifying and praising God for the newborn gift of the Messianic Savior.

The shepherds also “spread the message they had received about Him.”

The inquiry of a rich man to Jesus in Matthew 19 was clarifying.
“Just then a man came up to Jesus and inquired, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?’

“Jesus said: ‘If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.'”

Jesus didn’t tone that down when some left. “Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Once we grasp the need for salvation, we are not taught to do nothing and await the Second Coming.

The case can be made that enough people stay away from the polls because they await the Second Coming. But Scripture routinely sends proverbial shepherds into “the field” not the sofa. In “the field,” we praise God for love, mercy and the greatest of His gifts. We are told to keep the commandments, knowing that when we fail, God’s mercy awaits.

In the hustle and bustle of the holy days before, during and after Christmas, we should ponder the lessons from Scripture with new eyes.

Prayer, repentance and our uniquely inspired work go hand-in-hand. The more believers share this, the better off the world will be. It still won’t be Eden. But Jesus assures us that by doing so we will be storing up treasures in Heaven that no earthly force can take away.

L.A. “Tony” Kovach is the co-founder of MHProNews and MHLivingNews which are widely acknowledged to be the largest, most-read and evidence-based trade media serving the affordable housing and mobile home/ manufactured housing profession and consumers.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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