There will be no Wizards news for the first few days this week, everyone is off spending time with family. I thought I’d take this time to mention what this break in the year is about. Until recently I would have thought most would immediately give the answer, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Now I am not sure, I have noticed that increasingly it being redefined to be about family.
I watched the Shrek Christmas special last week. The plot is that Shrek knows nothing of Christmas and wants to learn what it is all about, there is a big push for gifts and decorations and food and eventually the pressure gets to him causing him to become angry and blow up at all his friends. Then he comes to realize that Christmas isn’t about all that stuff, it is about spending time with family. Now I”m not a fundi who is offended every time someone doesn’t use the word Christmas, but I was disappointed and even bothered at this redefining of the word Christmas. During this special at no point was the birth of Christ even mentioned (it was a Christmas special not a “Holiday Special”). What made this worse is that even listening to the Christian radio station Calvary 88.5 I kept hearing this theme of family, not Christ as the focus of Christmas.
Again let me be clear, I don’t expect people who don’t care about Christ the other 11 months of the year to suddenly think much of him each December. Yet, I’m still disappointed the Christmas holiday has been redefined to be about family and not Christ.
Stay with me though, this is not a rant on the evils of media and consumerism, one bright spot this year has been a two week sermon series preached by Rev. Tony Felich here south Kansas City that walks through the well know music/oratorio of Handel’s Messiah (you may recognize the Hallelujah chorus from movies). I had never known before that this was written for Easter not Christmas, or that there are three parts to it not simply the one we hear at Christmas time. Still, the most amazing thing I had never known is that every word of it is straight from the Bible, arranged to tell of not only Christ’s coming as spoken of by the prophets, but also his finished work on the cross to redeem a people for his own glory. It focuses not only on Jesus as a baby boy, but also as sinful man’s great redeemer as well.
These two sermons have served to focus my mind (more than anything in recent years) at this time of Christmas as a celebration of God coming to dwell among man, to be a sacrifice for the sins of many and ultimately to glorify God. Reminding me that Christmas is not simply a time for family to watch American football and open up presents together.
If you would like to hear the first of these sermons in mp3 format click here. If the other one is posted online I’ll link to it as well. If you can listen to this and not be moved at the wonder of Christ my prayer is that you would be made anxious about death and eternity. Let me encourage you this Monday night to attend a Bible believing church wherever you are remembering not only what Christmas is about, but all of life is about, the glory of God. I’ll be worshiping our great God and Savior in the beautiful building below. Now, back to covering the Wizards in great obsessive detail.