Summary: How do you welcome Jesus and keep the welcome warm. Welcome others. Share the welcome and enjoy the wonder.
When I was in high school there was a Christian College group that came to our chapel assembly and did some skits. I think they were called the Ambassadors or something, I can’t remember their name exactly, but I remember one skit that impressed me. I’ve updated it a little for this illustration:
It was called the Jupiter Visitor and it went something like this: A crowd of kids are gathered and suddenly a space ship lands and an alien from Jupiter walks off the ship and looks at the group and scowls. “This is a backward place,” says the alien, “Looks like we’ve landed on the planet of an inferior species!” “I’m not sure these creatures are even able to communicate.”
One of the group steps up and says, “Oh yeah? Who are you? Where did you come from?”
Alien: “Oh, you can at least talk! Well… I’m a Jupiter visitor. Just call me J.V. for short. I’ve come from the greatest planet in the Universe and just wondered what kind of planetary neighborhood this is. I expected to see some quality stuff here, but I guess you guys haven’t made it all the way around the block yet, much less accomplished anything worthy of recognition. I guess I’ll just report back to Jupiter and tell them we can use this planet for a dumping ground. That is, unless you can show me that you are worthy of being spared.”
One of the group: “Hey, wait a minute! We’ve accomplished lots of things!” (He pulls out a cell phone). “Just look, with this little gadget I can call up people all over the world and talk with them. It’s called a cell phone.”
Alien: “Hummm. Yeah, we had those things a couple of thousand years ago too. Sorry, not worthy! Anything else?”
Another of the group: “Look at this!” (He shows his laptop computer). “This computer can do anything from games to playing movies on DVD. It’s got an 80 gigabyte hard drive and runs at 3 gigahertz.”
Alien: “Very sad indeed. Is this supposed to impress me? Sorry, WAY not worthy! Anybody else? Going once… going twice…”
From the back of the group two guys are arguing. One says, “No, don’t tell him that!” The other says, “But it’s true! It’s the best thing we’ve got!”
Alien: “Excuse me, but what’s the best thing you’ve got?”
Last one of the group: “Well, J.V. sir, the reason we are worthy has nothing to do with our accomplishments.
Alien: “That’s obvious! But go on…”
Group guy: “You may not believe this, but we had a visit from God’s only begotten Son. He actually came here and lived with us because God cared so much about us. That’s what makes us worthy.”
Alien, looking surprised: “God’s Son, come here! Are you telling the truth? Wait a minute, I can check on this… (closes eyes and hums, then opens his eyes wide with wonder). This is planet earth! This is the place! He really did come here! Wow! I guess I had it all wrong about you guys. But I have to know something. What did you do with him? How did you treat him? You must have really gone all out to get him here! What was it? You must have done something astounding for Him! What on earth did you do to him?
The whole Group hangs their heads and say together: “We crucified him.”
How do you welcome Jesus?
Luke tells us that there was no room for him in the inn. Jesus received little welcome into this world. It was months after his birth when the wise men came, but then Herod tried to kill him. A star welcomed Jesus. Angels announced his coming to some shepherds who welcomed him. An old man and woman in the temple welcomed him. But mostly, the world went on about its business as if nothing significant had happened. Now, when you think about it, that is amazing!
How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.
So God imparts to human hearts the blessing of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still the dear Christ enters in.
One of the great reasons to believe in Jesus today is that what should have remained an insignificant life lived in an insignificant place among an insignificant people has turned into the most significant person of all human history. Who would have conceived of such a thing?
When Einstein discovered the theory of relativity, his words were: This has to be true; it is too beautiful not to be! In some ways the same can be said of the story of Jesus Christ. There is something so beautiful and compelling about him and the story of his life, it is something that rings true in the inmost being and echoes in harmony with the deepest need of humanity. Yet who would have thought it?