Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Letter From Jesus

I'm preparing (or rather procrastinating on preparing) a sermon for this Sunday. I dislike preaching on several levels (my favorite part of preaching is when it is over!) but I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone and help my church - it's hard to find someone to preach the Sunday before Christmas. My sermon title is tentatively called "Addicted to Christmas?" Feel free to pray for me as I feel woefully under-equipped for this task! Anyway, although I have managed to avoid this important task all but a few times, the times I have preached seem to all be around Christmas. While looking over some old stuff I found this fictional letter from Jesus. I don't think I'm going to use it this Sunday so I thought I'd post it here:

Hello dear friend!

Well, as you know, it's time for my birthday again. Last year, they had a real big party for me and it seems like they will again this year. After all, they've been shopping and preparing for it for months now, and there have been announcements and advertisements almost everyday about how soon it's coming! They really do go overboard about it, but it's nice to know that at least on one day of the year some people are thinking about me a little.

You know, its been many years now since they first started celebrating my birthday. Back then they seemed to realize and appreciate how much fun it is for the little children. Just the same, it seems that most folks are missing the point of it all.

Like last year, for example: When my birthday came around, they threw a big party, but can you believe it?... I wasn't even invited! Imagine! The guest of honor, and they forgot all about me! Here they had begun preparing for the festivities two months in advance, but when the big day came, I was left out in the cold! Well, it has happened so many times in recent years, I wasn't even surprised. Even though I wasn't invited, I thought I'd just quietly slip in anyway. So I came in and stood off to the side.

Everyone was drinking, laughing and having a grand time, when all of a sudden, in came this fat fellow in a bright red suit, wearing a phony white beard and shouting, Ho ho ho! He looked like he had more than enough to drink, but he somehow managed to weave his way running around the floor while everyone cheered. When he collapsed into a big armchair, all the little children went running over to him excitedly yelling, Santa! Santa! I mean, you'd have thought he was the guest and the whole holiday was in his honor!

Finally I just had to leave, I walked out of the door, and it was hardly surprising that no one even noticed that I had gone. As I walked down the street afterward, I felt about as lonely and forlorn as a stray dog! I could hardly remember the last time I'd felt that low. Maybe you don't think I cry.....

Another thing that amazes me is how, on my birthday, instead of giving me presents, most people give gifts to each other! And to top it all off, it's usually all kinds of stuff they don't even need! Let me ask you, wouldn't you find it odd if when your birthday came along, all your friends decided to celebrate it by giving each other presents and never gave you a thing?

Someone once told me, Well, it's because you're not around like other people are, so how can we give you a present? You know my answer to that one: Then give gifts of food and clothing to the poor, help those who need it. Go visit the lonely! I said, Listen, any gift you give to your needy fellow men, I'll count as if you gave it to me personally!

Much Love,



Dayna said...

and to take it a step further, where in the Bible does it tell us to celebrate Jesus' birthday? we are not called to worship signs (his birth), but Him!

Mark said...

Agreed! This is what I am sorting through right now. What are you doing for Christmas out in Germany Dayna?

Anonymous said...

Good reminder about giving to Jesus by giving to the poor, Mark. I need to make that more of a priority in my life.

Mark said...

So true Eric!