Tuesday, December 3, 2013

… Along the way - December 3, 2013

Well it's Christmastime again.  As I prepare to celebrate the coming of the King, and anticipate His glorious return, I want to pause to consider the benefit of the "commercialization" of Christmas.

Yes, you read that right the "benefit" of the commercialization of Christmas.

So what possible benefit could there be to the commercialization and apparent devaluing of the Savior's birth?

Well to answer that question, I think we have to consider the benefit of commercials in general.

I recently attended military training, which involved 23 training days.  On Day 12 most of us began to recite a GEICO commercial where a camel walks around asking everyone, "What day is it?"  The answer of course is "Hump Day" meaning Wednesday.  However, in our context "Hump Day" was the halfway point of training.

I tell that brief story to illustrate the benefit or value of commercials.  Commercials make us all remember a company's name "GEICO" and their slogan that "you could save 15% or more on car insurance by switching to GEICO", but commercials also give us a common language, a frame of reference from which we can all relate.  I did not know any of the other 128 officers before I entered training, we all came from different places, different backgrounds, and even different career fields, yet the GEICO commercial was a common language we all spoke!

This is where I find the benefit or value of the commercialization of Christmas.  I think we could call it pre-evangelism.  I find that there are a lot of people in my community who would not know the name Jesus except for Christmas.  They know the general parts of the story.   They know him as a baby born in a stable, visited by shepherds and wise men, heralded by angels, and highlighted by a star!  They know the basics of the story because the commercials speak His name!

It seems we may have it all wrong.  Perhaps instead of lamenting the commercialization of Christmas, we should take advantage of it!  Everyone knows the name Jesus, now they need to know the answer to the question posed in a famous Christmas carol, "What Child is This?"  If they can come to know the true identity of the child in the manger, then they can have the opportunity to put their faith in Him - Immanuel (God with us) - the one who came to save His people from their sins!

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