Okay, let’s just accept it. Christmastime is a confusing mixture of Bible stories, family traditions, myths, and fun Santa Claus tales. Especially for kids like little Luke.
The six-year-old boy bounced happily into the kitchen where his mom was putting lunch on the table. He proudly handed her the picture that he had drawn in Sunday School that morning. Waited confidently for the inevitable praise that his pictures always drew from her. He grinned as his dad came in from the living room and looked over her shoulder at their son’s handiwork.
Mom and dad dutifully studied the paper with great interest, and then she cautiously began questioning the fledgling young artist. “Umm, tell me, Luke, all about what I am seeing here.” The boy began excitedly explaining and pointing, “This is Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus!” “Well, yes, we can certainly see that,” replied Dad, “but I’m not sure I understand what they are…riding on?”
With a decidedly expressive eye roll, Luke answered, “That’s the jet plane, Dad, ya, know…for their flight to Egypt.”
Mom quickly bit back her giggle, quickly glanced over her shoulder at her husband, and then in a choked voice asked quietly, “So -uh, tell me, who is the extra-large guy in the other seat on the plane?” Luke heaved a huge sigh, as if their lack of Biblical knowledge was getting on his nerves, “Oh, Mom, that’s Round John Virgin, who’s always with the Mother and Child – like it says in the song, remember?”
Oh well, maybe his young mind had not exactly got all the details straight, but after all, there is a lot to take in and try to understand about this particular event, even for us so-called adults.
Like, where does the little drummer boy that night fit in to all this? How did a tiny baby sleep through that drum solo? Why do all these pretty city girls go back home for a small-town Christmas and invariably fall in love with the very same boy they dumped a few years ago? Just how many Santa Clauses and Angel Trees can there possibly be? How is Christ’s birth honored by racking up huge totals on credit cards to buy gifts for people?
Rather confusing, if you were to ask me. So, for my sake, let’s keep it simple and back to basics.
Jesus came to be born as a tiny baby. He was God’s Greatest Gift to the whole world, because that baby was born to grow up to die and pay the penalty for our sins. That means Christmas is the time we celebrate God’s loving gift. Scripture says, “Thanks to God for His unspeakable gift.”
It’s not at all confusing when we keep it simple and stick to the facts. Otherwise, like little Luke, we are apt to draw our picture of Christmas just a little bit off center. Merry Christmas, everyone!