Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cliches

Santa Keeps the Christ in Christmas
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Micah 5:1-5
Prop: Clue in the church musician to accompany the congregation on "Happy Birthday to You" at the end of the story

Christmas is getting close, isn't it!  You can see that four of the candles in the Advent wreath are lit--the only one remaining is the center Christ candle, which we will light tomorrow night at our Christmas Eve service.  We've had four weeks to prepare; Christmas is in two days.  Are you ready?  Are you excited?

There are many, many reasons to be excited that Christmas is almost here, aren't there? 
  • There will be special, delicious foods to eat.  I look forward all year to cranberry bread and green bean casserole and candy canes and cookies shaped like stars and bells and angels--food that I only eat at Christmas dinner.
  • Some people receive cards, letters, phone calls or even visits from loved ones they don't hear from very often.  Christmas is one time of the year people make an effort to reach out and let others know they are thinking about them.
  • Maybe you have a new dress or shirt to wear to Christmas Eve service tomorrow night.  Getting all dressed up to come to church or go to Christmas dinner is one way to show how special Christmas is.
  • Many people already have their Christmas tree up and decorated, but some families wait until Christmas Eve to do it.  Looking at all the colorful decorations at home, at church and on Main Street is another fun way to show our excitement for Christmas.  Maybe you even helped to decorate or made a decoration for your tree or home.
  • There is the giving and receiving of gifts, which is a super fun part of Christmas.  We often give not only to our friends and family, but to people we don't know at Christmas time, too, like with our Angel Tree project here at church.  It is fun and good to give to help others at Christmas and all year, too.
  • And then, of course, there's Jesus.  Christmas is Jesus' birthday, and for this we are most happy. 
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle and excitement that is Christmas Day, it is easy to almost forget the guest of honor, the Birthday Boy, who is Jesus!  Sometimes I see bumper stickers on cars, or posts on Facebook that say, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season," and "Keep the Christ in Christmas."  These are catchy reminders that all of the things we've talked about--the special foods, the fancy clothes, the decorations and cards and gifts--all of the things we do at this time of the year are ways to praise God and to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday. 

I'd like to end our story time this morning by singing "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" together.  Are you ready?  Happy Birthday to you...

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