Summary: Today, as Christmas approaches, impatient shoppers stand in line at the check out aisles, children line up to see Santa, but where’s the line to see Jesus? Based on an original song by Steve Haut and Becky Kelly. Powerpoint and Video avaible, just e-mail
WHERE’S THE LINE TO SEE JESUS?
Scott Bayles, preacher
First Christian Church, Rosiclare, IL
Last year while at the mall with his mom and grandpa, a four-year-old boy watched as children lined up excitedly to see Santa Claus. Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of God’s Son, with the innocence of a child, he asked his mom, “Where’s the line to see Jesus? If Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, why don’t we see him more?”
Overhearing, his grandpa was so proud that little Spencer understood the true meaning of Christmas at such a tender age. But both mother and grandfather—Becky Kelly and Steve Haut—were so struck by the profoundness of this little boy’s question and the message inherent within it that they collaborated together to write and record a song based on the experience. When I first heard this song, I was so touched by it that I knew I had to share it with all of you here today. So here it is:
PLAY MUSIC VIDEO: Where’s the Line to See Jesus?
Out of the mouths of babes sometimes come profound truths that many adults cannot understand. You know, the Bible tells the story of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2. Let me read that for you before I say anything else:
READ: Luke 2:1-21 NLT
On that first Christmas morning the line to see Jesus was long and distinguished—shepherds, magi, and angels all gathered to see the newborn King lying in a manger. Today, as Christmas approaches, however, impatient shoppers stand in line at the check out aisles, children line up to see Santa, but—as little Spencer so poignantly asked—where’s the line to see Jesus? If Christmas time is the celebration of his birth, then why don’t we see him more?
More and more lately, I see less and less of Christ in Christmas.
Countless retailers all over the country refuse to even acknowledge Christmas. Sure, they’re happy to take your money, but they’d rather not use the word Christmas. You’ll see signs that say “Happy Holidays” or “Holiday Sale” or even “Holiday Trees.” The American Family Association compiled a list this year of retailers who are considered “anti-Christmas,” refusing to use the term anywhere in their store or in their advertising. Among them was the Gap Company. In order to appease Christian consumers, they finally released a commercial that used the word Christmas, only it was just squeezed in there between Hanukah, Quanza and Solstice of all things—as if any of those holidays are the reason their stores are so busy they have to hire extra help.
Retailers aren’t the only ones who are trying to eliminate Christ from Christmas though. Certain Christian circles are working just as hard to do the same thing. I received an e-mail this week from my almamauter—Freed-Hardeman University. This is what it said:
“Seasons greetings from your Freed-Hardeman University family and friends. May this holiday season bring you cheer and hope as you celebrate your family, your blessings and the love you have for one another. May the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you throughout the coming new year. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year.”
Do you see anything missing from this message? Where’s Christ? Where’s Christmas? And this is from a Christian college and seminary. They let Christ out for a reason, though. You see, many of the board members at FHU were taught, like I was, that Christians shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. I’ve heard all the arguments: the Bible doesn’t mention Christmas, Jesus wasn’t even born on December 25th, it was pagan holiday, there’s no Scriptural authority to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, etc.
Well, there’s no Scriptural authority to celebrate your birthday either, but we still let you have a party, don’t we? The truth is—yes, December 25th was originally a pagan festival celebrating the birthday of the Sun god, Apollo. But, what is often overlooked is that the early church chose that day intentionally. Rather than Christianizing a pagan celebration, they established a rival celebration of the birth of Jesus—the true Son of God. While the world has all but forgotten the Greco-Roman gods of antiquity, they are annually reminded that two thousand years ago Christ invaded time and space. The birth of Jesus gives all of heaven and earth cause to celebrate! The celebration began in the stable and Christian need to carry on that celebration until he comes again!
When it comes down to it, though—we’re all responsible for removing Christ from Christmas. We get lost in the maze of convoluted commerce and commercialism. We allow ourselves to be swept up in the buying, bidding, wrapping, packing, and distributing of gifts that we forget what the true gift of Christmas really is—Jesus.