Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and the Best New Year Ever to you! I love this Christmas story by my friend David Shibley of Global Advance. Read, grow and enjoy!
It was the night of the big Christmas play at the church. All the boys and girls had rehearsed their lines over and over. Now each child knew his part by heart. The dress rehearsal had gone without a hitch. Each memorized line was recited flawlessly. The actual performance, however, did not go quite as planned.
For Joey, who played Joseph in the church Christmas play, the night of his big debut had finally arrived. Realizing his parents and grandparents were in the audience, eight-year-old “Joseph” was in rare form on stage. He pounded frantically on the innkeeper’s door. When the boy-innkeeper peered from behind the cracked door, “Joseph” laid it on thick. “Please, sir,” he pleaded, “my wife is about to have a baby! Don’t you have any room for us in the inn?”
Jimmy, the second-grade innkeeper, knew his lines perfectly. Countless times he had practiced his gruff speech of refusal: “I’m sorry. There is no room in the inn.” But the night of the play Jimmy himself was overcome by the desperate tone in “Joseph’s” cry for help. He just had to do the right thing. So, Jimmy the Innkeeper blurted out, “I know what they want me to say but – come on in anyway!”
David goes on…”There’s no room in today’s secular ‘inn’ for Jesus either. And our humanistic culture has schooled us repeatedly to bar Him from any entrance into our lives. It’s their autocratic way of ordering us to fall into line: “Learn your lines: ‘There is no room for Him.'” Just note the frantic, bizarre attempts to morph ‘Merry Christmas’ into ‘Happy Holidays.’ Today, as then, there’s often no place for Him.”
So this Christmas respectfully ignore the ‘culture umpires’ who try to define for you what is “in” and what (or who) is “out.” Just let Jesus in this Christmas Eve. Just let Him in to your Christmas. Just let him into your family, life, mind and most of all your heart. And, most of all, don’t forget Christmas.
Do you know what Christmas really is? Author Craig Lounsbrough says, “Christmas is God remembering. Christmas is God’s refusal to forget. Christmas is God’s declaration that He will never forget. Christmas was God deliberately placing Himself squarely in the middle of humanity when that very same humanity sought to remove Him squarely from the middle of everything by any means possible. Christmas is God’s greatest gift ever given to mankind. Christmas is God’s staunch refusal to forget, and it is His forever commitment to forgive. It is His commitment never to forget even though we are reckless enough to do so. No, God doesn’t forget. And Christmas is a powerful and compelling proof of that reality.”
Yes, Christmas is an affair to remember. No matter how much it might mess up everyone’s little play, along with Jimmy, let’s do the right thing. “Jesus, I know what they want me to say – but come on in anyway!” Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to remember that Christmas is God remembering when we forget.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.