Christmas Blessings

Les Feldman

Each of the past five years as we plan out our Christmas Issue, I am reminded how our spirits rise with anticipation. For many it is a time of hope and merriment; for others it may be disappointment or despair.

It is real and that is reality.

Perhaps that’s why we come together? We know our role.

GOOD NEWS front cover are our Faith Leaders who come together and gesture this is our village and we choose Hope. We are thankful they come together and appear on the front cover to greet you as you enter churches throughout South Florida all December.

 

Problems or challenges?

Moving right along, I see this on Facebook, an organic 5 week survey; 82,500 respondents with no suggestion of category.

 

Question: If I could rid the world of one thing?

(Top 13, parentheses is in thousands)

  1. Hate (13.7)
  2. Cancer (10.8)
  3. Politics (10.3)
  4. Racism (4.9)
  5. Government (3.5)
  6. Ignorance (3.3)
  7. Baked beans (3.1)
  8. Religion (3.0)
  9. Israel (2.1)
  10. Abuse (1.9)
  11. Poverty (1.9)
  12. Social Media (1.6)
  13. Vegetables (831)

Normally I distrust surveys solely because I believe they are agenda driven based on the polling party taking the “survey.” In this case the survey respondent numbers, over 82,500, would be considered a huge survey by any measure. I accept this organic survey because it is not run by anyone, it is simply a respondent response to a question – thrown out there to anyone; no age, gender or preconceived bias.

I am not surprised by the findings or rankings, although I like baked beans, mind you this is a “If I could rid the world of one thing” survey – the field was wide open. Then I notice what was next: religion. Rid the world of one thing, Religion? That takes some serious thought and I chose to see that as a huge challenge. 

My friends know I like to stir the pot and love response. Personally I generally challenge “friends” to elicit response; I do not unfriend or block people unless they are vulgar – but contrarians are fun and therapy for many. I find I am “unfriended” or blocked by intolerant liberals who only seek affirmation, and the more the better.

What do you think? While reading through the list, you may notice “Covid” did not rank high enough to enter the top tier with the assumption perhaps that it is temporary in the minds of most. Mind you these were not one-word responses, many if not most respondents gave their why’s and wherefores with explicit reasoning with no Facebook editing, and some were brutal but also provide a clear window in transparency.

I get that there is no biblical attachment to this survey, but the suggestion there is a large unchurched population (that we already know), and it’s not passive. It also provides what I believe is an entry point of necessary dialogue. We know we have a lot of work to do, and we each play a vital role. I pray this is a challenge we accept with enthusiasm: there is Hope; follow Him; we know Him by name.

 

“Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 NKJV).

 

Merry Christmas to all.

Les

Read more about Les Feldman at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/staff/leslie-j-feldman/

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