Christmas Tourists

The Center of Attention

My Best Friend’s Birthday
This weekend, believers in Jesus Christ, our Savior, gather throughout the world to celebrate His birth. It was quite the event, seeing as how His arrival split history in two, freed us from sin’s bondage, and gave us eternal life.

Love came down to rescue us a few thousand years ago when God came to earth, incarnate. 

He walked among us. He died for us. He brought us grace.

He’s my best friend, enthroned at the right hand of God, interceding for me. And for you. 
It’s His birthday. 

The funny thing is this: lots of not-believers celebrate Christmas, too. They decorate their homes, exchange gifts, bake cookies, sing carols–they celebrate everything about the season except the birth of the King of Kings. They gather with family. They love each other.

I know a few people of faith who are offended by these people who embrace the holiday while rejecting the Guest of Honor. You might think, to hear them discuss it, that a bunch of scabs had shown up at the Labor Day picnic. These show up at our churches like tourists arriving at Disneyland. They take the prime parking spots. They crowd the pews. And they’re coming, not to worship our Savior, but to admire the candles aglow, the children’s choir, the banks of poinsettias gracing the chancel. 
But for an hour, they sit in God’s house, in the company of believers. 

I don’t see an inconvenience there. I see an opportunity.
My prayer this weekend is for the Holy Spirit to tap on those hearts as they admire our wreaths and stately trees, join us in singing songs of adoration, bow their heads as we pray. I pray they’ll see where love comes from. Where everything comes from. 
My prayer this weekend is that all of us–even–no, especially the Christmas tourists–experience the joy, the hope, the peace:
The wonders of His love.

1 Now in those days a decree went out from B)’>all b]’>This was the first census taken while C)’>Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because E)’>gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a F)’>an angel of the Lord suddenly H)’>Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a e]’>K)’>the Lord. 12 f]’>manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “g]’>h]’>manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary P)’>glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. 

Luke 2:1-20 (NASB)