I accidentally happened to see the latest Christmas version of The Sharper Image magazine. I was then reminded of the cliche, “the gift for the person who has everything.” Frankly, I’m not a good shopper and struggle to be creative and sensitive. Of course, Christmas is about the greatest gift of all - the birth of Jesus Christ. He poured His Godhood into flesh and blood and was born as a full-fledged human being, yet also fully God. He came as the Creator among His creatures, walking among us as the King in disguise. As Ralph W. Sockman wrote, “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable.”
This year you can give the best gift to people who feel that they already have everything. The political correctness of our culture has permeated so many places, so much so that when I wished a young lady at a store, “Happy Thanksgiving,” she could only reply, “Happy Holidays.” I repeated my best wishes and then added, “and Merry Christmas!” It truly is a happy, holy day! It is not about such secondary traditions such as holly, but the birth of the “Holy Child, Jesus.” Our gift of the Gospel “keeps on giving”...for eternity!
In the Naples Christmas Celebration, we joyfully proclaim, “Good news of great joy which will be for all the people...there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11). You can invite folks to our traditional Christmas program featuring music, drama, a Christmas Village for the whole family, and of course, a brief presentation of the Gospel by yours truly at the end of the program. I don’t “beat people over the head” with legalism, but remind them of “the tender mercy of our God, Sunrise from on high who has visited us” (Luke 1:78). Under the leadership of Dr. Todd Stearns and assisted by Rev. Eric Yeldell, Rev. John Patterson, and numerous other staff and hundreds of volunteers, the Christmas message is presented in a winsome way with a different plot, songs, and multimedia.
There are still some seats available even as we consolidate performances in a one-week period of time. The original eight presentations over a two-week period were very demanding of all involved. The excellent quality and attractiveness of our renovated Worship Center will enhance the presentation. The Christmas Village in the Commons and Courtyard were such a hit last year that we want to do it again and even in a more engaging manner. Enjoy!