Summary: For Sunday After Christmas. Reason for the Season is to reconcile the world. Uses "Unchurched Harry and Marry" by Lee Strobel

I have been doing parodies of The Night Before Christmas this season. I did one on Christmas Eve and you might remember that on Thanksgiving Sunday I read one The Day After Thanksgiving. In response to the Thanksgiving poem, I got an email with another parody. I don’t know who wrote it, so I can’t really give credit, but here it is.

Twas the night before Christmas

and all through the town

Not a sign of Baby Jesus

was anywhere to be found.

The people were all busy

with Christmas time chores

Like decorating, and baking,

and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger,

no crib for a bed".

Instead, they sang of Santa

dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart,

Papa drank beer from a tap.

As hour upon hour

the presents they’d wrap

When what from the T.V.

did they suddenly hear?

’Cept an ad. which told

of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall

they all flew like a flash...

Buying things on credit...

and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home

From their trip to the mall,

Did they think about Jesus?

Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy

with their Christmas time things

No time to remember

Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap

and cookies to bake.

How could they stop and remember

who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...

they had no time to stop.

Because they needed more time

to "Shop til they dropped!"

On Wal-mart! On K-mart!

On Target! On Penney’s!

On Hallmark! On Zales!

A quick lunch at Denny’s

From the big stores downtown

to the stores at the mall

They would dash away, dash away,

and visit them all!

And up on the roof,

there arose such a clatter

As grandpa hung icicle lights

up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash.

He hung lights that would twirl.

Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...

Light of the World.

Christ’s eyes... how they twinkle!

Christ’s Spirit... how merry!

Christ’s love... how enormous!

All our burdens... He’ll carry!

So instead of being busy,

overworked, and uptight

Let’s put Christ back in

Christmas and enjoy

some good nights!

Merry Christmas, my friends!

When you saw the title to this message, The Reason for the Season, my guess is that you had to stifle a yawn. I can hear your thoughts. “I know what’s this is going to be like. Tim’s going to get on his soap box and talk about how commercial and secular Christmas is. He is going to tell us that we have to beware of “X’ing” Christ out of Christmas, but we must remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Be sure to wake me when it’s over.”

I understand what people mean when they say that Jesus is the reason for the season. Their hearts are in the right place, but I have to quibble a bit. Christmas does exist to honor Jesus – that’s true. But the reality behind the season is different. Jesus didn’t come to be honored, He came to save.

I have heard people who recognize and honor Christ’s mission and His lordship of their lives. They will say, “I am the reason for the season. Christ came and gave Himself for me. The Creator of the Universe became a baby in a manger because of His love for people like me.” Again, that is true and honorable when you understand what is meant, but again, I think that it is a shade off of the real reason for the season.

You may have noticed that we have a distinguished visitor sitting in here this morning (indicate where a mannequin is sitting in an easy chair in front of a TV set). That’s Harry. He is the strong silent type. I think Harry is the reason for the season.

Now is the time for credits. This sermon owes much to a book by Lee Strobel, a former Chicago Tribune reporter who is now a speaker and author. He is currently the host of a TV program called Faith Under Fire which airs on PAX TV at 10:00 pm on Saturday. I would encourage you to watch if you have the chance. Strobel’s most famous book is The Case for Christ, but the book that inspired this message is called Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary. That book considers the perceptions and notions of our neighbors and friends who don’t go to church. We are honored to have Harry joining us in church today so we can learn more about what makes him tick.

I need to offer a quick disclaimer here. Harry is here with us, but Mary was not able to join us. Since I will be referring to our guest, I’ll be using masculine pronouns, but almost everything I say is applicable to Mary as well.

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