(Reindeer and Angels!)
Years ago our church produced a Christmas program featuring several fun holiday skits. One in particular ended up pretty thought-provoking. The skit involved a group of people celebrating a birthday — gifts, cards, decorations, birthday cake — they were having a great old time. Then came time to sing “the song” — “Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear ____ dear____.” Suddenly they all stopped singing as one by one they realized no one knew whose birthday was being celebrated. Someone finally broke the silence with, “Hey, whose birthday is it anyway?”
It’s pretty easy these days to understand why folks seem a bit foggy on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. So, just for fun, let’s pretend for a minute that “someone” gets dropped off from Mars in mid-December, and taking a bit of literary license, let’s say that the “person” ends up at our local mall, moving from store to store, listening to Christmas songs, one right after the other.
At first, it seems to our guy that this delightful season must be about Frosty, a fun-loving snowman who enjoys playing with children until he melts away. But no, wait…another song…now there’s a holly, jolly Santa Claus. Apparently, he drops off gifts to children all over the world in a single night, using a sleigh and reindeer as his primary mode of transportation. Quite a feat. It’s all pretty confusing at this point for our “person” so he scratches his pointed little head and decides to move on.
Another store another song. This time there’s a Little Drummer Boy followed by Jingle Bells on a White Christmas day. No wait…more songs…better make that a Blue Christmas day on a Silent Night. And just when our “guy” thinks he’s got it all figured out, he hears, We Three Kings Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree with Silver Bells. Now he has a gigantic headache.
Personally, I love this time of year, even with all its various traditions, numerous worldly customs, and diverse songs. I actually think that’s part of the appeal of this unique season – having all this variation wrapped up in one holiday offers a multitude of avenues for people to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Because the truth is, this amazing holiday (holy day) wouldn’t exist without God so loving the world that He sent His Son! What an incredible gift and, boy oh boy, did God ever throw an “out-of-this-world” birthday party!
The Biblical Christmas story tells of angels – multitudes of them – descending on shepherds watching their sheep one dark night. Apparently, these angelic beings scared the daylights out of the herdsmen, but our lead angel, being the perfect host, played the Dr. Phil role and talked them off the cliff as gazillions of other angels celebrated into the night.
And now, back to our space guest who has worked his way down to the west end of the mall, into yet another store, but this time he hears, “Come on ring those bells, light the Christmas tree; Jesus is the King, born for you and me!” That’s different, he thinks, just as “Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King!” gently glides over the Christmas shoppers and finally “Joy to the world, the Lord has come; let earth receive her King” finishes up our visitors trek. Those three songs pretty much sum up the reason for the season! Our Mars Man now ‘gets it’ and leaves the mall a happy traveler!
We can wrap (pun intended) this all up with a well-known quote from that well-beloved and infamous Mr. Grinch: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more!” Ah yes, well said Mr. Grinch. It certainly does!
Pastors Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet. For more information visit them at: www.dpcitychurch.com
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