The Day Before Christmas
So what do you put in the bulletin a day before Christmas? Tomorrow is the 25th day of December traditionally seen as the day of Christ’ birth with many services today focused on silent nights and hearing the angels sing. Festive plays well rehearsed depicting the manger scene of shepherds and three wise men staring down at the baby Jesus will fill churches throughout the world. A huge star will be suspended above the manger. Angels will sing as little boys and girls with fragile wings will squirm and giggle with parents gleaming. The message of Jesus will be preached from pulpit to pulpit lauding the majesty of His miraculous birth. So what would be a good article to put in the bulletin the day before Christmas? Honestly it is hard to say.
We could discuss that Christmas is not really the birth of Jesus. It could be pointed out the misinformation that has longed filled the hearts of people who do not read the Bible to see the real story of Jesus birth. Matthew and Luke are the only ones that tell us what happened but men still get the story wrong. There is little detail in the birth of Jesus but again most of the world does not know the truth about His birth. Mark and John do not take the time to tell the story and the writers of the epistles including Luke’s account in Acts do not discuss it either. The only thing we know about the early life of Jesus are the first couple of years (limited information), when Jesus is twelve years and then when He is the age of thirty. Regarding the adulthood of Jesus ranging in a period of about three years the New Testament writers fill 27 volumes of stories, teachings, instructions and commands.
The basis of what to do to be saved is not found in the birth of Jesus but His resurrection and His commission. Twelve men took the gospel of salvation to the Jews in Jerusalem and three thousand souls were saved that day. Four men set forth stories of the life of Jesus called The Gospels. Countless disciples of the Lord gave their lives to preach Christ crucified and the hope of the resurrection. The New Testament never records a sermon where the birth of Jesus is highlighted with special emphasis on a day of celebration like Christmas. Hearts were convicted when the people were told they had killed the Son of God. Forgiveness was preached through the blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation was a message of promise given by the Father through His Son to all men who would obey Him. Early saints gathered weekly to engage in a memorial that signified the depth of God’s love to allow men to murder His Son on a cross. Their lives were daily committed to serving Jesus changing their characters to be in the image of the Father. The love these disciples had for God was not measured by poinsettias and Easter lilies. They gave their lives for the Lord because they worshiped Him with integrity and truth.
Early Christians were noble people empowered with a message of a cross that stained their hearts. Courage was their banner as they marched to war against Satan. Victories were gained daily as they conquered the carnal onslaughts of a world filled with wickedness. Their religion was not defined by a veneer of faith seen once a year on a silent night. Honor was the badge of love they bore under persecution; sometimes facing death with calm reserve.
What do you write a day before Christmas? The world has gone mad in a religious fervor that defies the truth of God’s word believing their lives are better for believing a lie.
Satan has an interesting ploy to deceive men. So often he does not want man to disbelieve in God. In fact it serves the devil well when men believe in God – as long as they fashion God into an image that is more like him. The totem of man is what Christmas is all about. Ironically men fashion Jesus into an image that glorifies man instead of the truth. All of the pomp and circumstance of December 25 is a memorial to the ignorance of man’s wisdom. How dark the blindness of those who cannot see.
So what do you put in the bulletin the day before Christmas? I guess it sounds cynical but then rebuking error can be viewed in that fashion. Truth is so pure yet so often misunderstood. It is sad how many people believe the lie. Maybe we should try harder to help one another do something noble: read the Bible. Do we think God has given us a book we cannot understand? What kind of God would He be if He could not reveal His truth to all men to know what to do to be saved? Frankly, Christmas is a good example about how a simple story, written in plain language can be so confusing in the minds of men.
Well, that is the end of the story. I have written 854 words and not mentioned a single scripture so here goes. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)