This week our staff was discussing the difficulty of keeping the focus of Christmas on Christ. Brian Crook, our missions director, was remembering a couple of Christmases ago his 7 year old cousin creating a scene because he didn’t get the gift he wanted. His mother tried to console him with pious platitude about the baby Jesus. He was having none of it, he shouted back: “Its not about the baby Jesus, it is about presents, don’t you get it, its all about the presents?”
Tom Corcoran, my associate, was remembering his son Gus who was 7, last Christmas; when reminded that Christmas is all about Jesus’ birth. He cocked his head in puzzlement and after some solid reflection replied, “What? Jesus’ birthday is on Christmas, that’s just crazy.”
Now, that’s the church guy’s kid, so don’t sweat it if your kid is a little confused. Not so surprising for kids, not entirely surprising for any of us.
This time last year, I was reading about the cultural history of celebrating Christmas. It’s interesting, and somewhat comforting to know that every generation of Christians has struggled with this.
It doesn’t bother me in the least that many stores don’t say “Merry Christmas” or that the culture more or less banishes Christ from Christmas. It isn’t their job to make Christmas about Jesus. It’s their job to make money off of Christmas. I understand that. But it is my job and if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it is yours as well. And if you are not sure what you think about Jesus it is our job as a church community to introduce you to the idea.
At the end of the day, everything we do here as a Church, everything we do in preparation for Christmas, everything we’re doing at the fairground is not about a building, it is not about programs and services, it isn’t about rituals and religion, its absolutely NOT about rules and obligations. What we do here is about the person of Jesus Christ. It’s about helping people meet and get to know and fall in love with their Savior.
Please consider who you will be inviting to the fairgrounds this year. No one will ever be insulted to be invited, and some people are just waiting for an invitation. They are looking for permission or encouragement or support to join us. Make an invitation. Send them to our web site for details about where to park and what to expect. Go with them if you can. We have 3200 seats in the main worship space, and another 200 in the cry area. With two services, that’s 6800 seats. Let’s fill them this year as we introduce, or re-introduce our community to Christ this Christmas.