Jesus on the Outside
- 2002 26 Sep
Imagine, for a moment, that your friends decided to throw you a big birthday party. You knew who would be coming to your party, and where it would be. But when you arrive, you find the music so loud and your friends having such a good time that they can't hear or see you outside. As you press your face up against the glass, you see pictures of yourself on the tables. You overhear people telling stories about you. Everyone is having a great time while you're standing outside, pounding on the door. You can't get into your own birthday party!
As ridiculous as this may seem, it portrays our Christmas of today: Jesus is outside, trying to get in. I once read a true and tragic story about a wealthy couple in Boston who had a christening party for their new baby. They invited all of their friends and family to their magnificent home to celebrate the birth of their new child. About 30 minutes into the party, they made a tragic discovery. There was a large bedroom where everyone was placing their coats on the bed. Boston is very cold, and so everyone had an overcoat. They had piled their coats high on the bed, and they didn't realize until later that the little baby was lying underneath the coats. The baby had suffocated and died.
Sadly, Christmas can be that way as well. We'll set up our nativity sets, sing a few Christmas carols, do a little shopping, and decorate the tree. We can become involved in all kinds of activities and forget all about Jesus. In the busyness of the celebration, He is altogether forgotten. Yet His birth is so historically important that we divide human history by it: B.C. and A.D. His birth changed the world. Not only did His birth change the world; so did His death. That little baby grew into a man who went to a cross. Spikes were driven through His hands and feet. He shed His blood for the sin of all humanity. Then three days later, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rose again from the dead. He is alive, and He is here, wanting to come into our lives. But we can miss Him.
So many miss Christmas because they allow other things to take His place. It might be money. It might be a career. It might be fame or pleasure or popularity. It might even be religion. A lot of us think Jesus will just stand on the doorstep of our lives and knock forever. Some may say, "Keep knocking. I'll get to you later." But if there was someone standing at your door, wanting to be invited into your home, don't you think that response would be a little offensive?
But you must reach out, take that gift, say "thank you," and enjoy it, because it's the only gift that keeps on giving. It will never go out of style. It will never get old. You'll never have to buy batteries for it.