Evergreen Trees and Wooden Shoes

Sunday, December 24  

Today millions of the faithful will be worshiping the “baby Jesus.”   We went to the local high school vocal concert the last week.  It was marvelous singing and a marvelous message.  It was labeled “Christmas Around the World” and had Christmas carols from 17 different ethnic groups and in 11 different languages.  Needless to say, we were blessed and encouraged.  This was a public high school, which made it even more significant.  Christmas is perhaps the most celebrated event in history, albeit with a lot of historic anomalies.  No one really knows the actual date of Jesus’ birth.  There are practices whose original meanings are obscure or altogether lost.  We have evergreen trees, lights, wooden shoes, winter wonderland, Santa Claus and elves, reindeer and sleighs.  While I’m not all that keen on historical traditions, and even less so on things that virtually replace the real meaning of Christ’s birth, I am even more concerned by how much the trappings of Christmas cater to selfish interests.  Gifts for one another is fine, but what about the gift of a redeemer who suffered a horrible death and a moment of separation from his father while on the cross?  THAT is the “good news.”  Churches will probably have a few more people sitting in the pews today.  Many of them will be unbelievers who are acknowledging
“God with us” without submitting to him or even seeking a solution to their sin problem.  May our churches be faithful to proclaim the “good news” today.  And may the faithful sincerely and thankfully praise the one who bought our redemption.

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