Monday, December 16, 2013


Pop singer Andy Williams was the first to record the song, ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,’ back in 1963, on his very first Christmas album.  The lyrics are familiar: “With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you ‘be of good cheer.’  It’s the hap-happiest season of all, with those holiday greetings and great happy meetings when friends come to call.  There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting and caroling out in the snow.  There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.  There’ll be much mistletoe-ing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  At the risk of sounding like Ebenezer Scrooge, can I point out the fact that there is absolutely nothing in the song that relates why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; nothing to connect us to the true significance of holiday [holy-day]?   The song merely celebrates the feelings that we associate with Christmas and ignores the facts.  But don’t you think this is representative of a lot of Christmas music?  It is really just a reflection of the way many people have come to think and behave in this season.   Like infant children, we play in the boxes, ribbon and paper and we are oblivious to the indescribable gift that has been given.  As a result, raucous office parties, excessive alcohol consumption, irrational spending and intemperate overeating are how many people typically celebrate at Christmas time.

In contrast, I will never forget the Christmas of 1971 when Kaylene and I were on our first tour of the Holy Land.  We stood in Shepherd’s Field just outside of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve with a crowd of a few hundred Christians.  A light snow was falling on a crystal clear night.  We worshiped together with the songs that contained the same message angel hosts announced to the world in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  The simplicity and solitude were in stark contrast to the commercial trappings of the season.  The historical reality of what happened in that field during the days of Caesar Augustus was deeply impressed on all of us. My hope is that everyone who reads these words will find a quiet place to open their Bibles to Matthew 1 & 2 and Luke 2 and be transported to the night the birth of Jesus changed everything.  It was the night God’s kingdom came on earth as it is in heaven.

Pray with me…Our Great God in heaven, we marvel at the genius of your way to communicate your love to each of us.  Sending Jesus… born of a woman, like we are born… living on this fallen planet, tempted as we are, yet without sin… teaching us in the first person… leaving the world a written record provided by Holy Spirit inspired authors… dying in our place, paying the penalty for our sins… rising from the grave to die no more… ascending into heaven to be our advocate with the Father…providing the church as a faithful witness to the world until Jesus comes again.  Thank you Lord…amen.

Pastor Ken

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