Tuesday, December 30, 2014

that's what I call 'putting Christ back in Christmas'!

There's no manger, no traditional Christmas carols - no Hark! the Herald or Silent Night. There's not even an inflatable Charlie Brown or Linus, ready to tell us what Christmas is all about.

But this may be the most exciting and faithful Christmas observance I've seen this year.

Wait, what? Nance, this is very entertaining and impressive, but how does this Star Wars light show celebrate the birth of Jesus?
Good question. The answer may surprise you, but it's very simple: this display is a fundraiser, and everything collected supports a meal program for poor and homeless individuals at the local church.

In the information beneath the video on the YouTube page, the man responsible for this light show explains why they do this:
... people say things like, “what does this have to do with Christmas?” In all reality, what do any of our traditions have to really do with Christmas? There were no lights or even a tree to decorate when Jesus was born. I do this because it brings families together to enjoy something for free while raising thousands of dollars for those who are need. Jesus said, “if you love me, obey my commands.” He told us to help those in need - and that’s why I do it and that’s what I think Christmas is really about.

He's doing this, putting on this brilliant, apparently-not-very-Christmasy show during the holidays, to be obedient to Jesus' teachings. That's what I call putting Christ in your Christmas! And he does it in a way that's innovative, fun, and disarming. Even a Scrooge who doesn't want to hear 'Merry Christmas' and sues his city government over a nativity scene would have a hard time turning his nose up at this deeply Christian way of celebrating the holiday.

What if we all focused less on people who don't want to hear about Jesus during the season and more on finding ways to celebrate or making family traditions that honor Christ at Christmas?

Jesus taught in Matthew 25 (see verses 31-46) that whenever you're compassionate to someone in need, giving a hungry man something to eat, providing shelter to a woman with nowhere to go, when you do something like that for them, you're actually doing it for Jesus himself. Every gift you give to someone in need is a gift you give to Jesus.
A Star Wars musical-light show may not mention Jesus' name, but every dime it raises to feed the hungry adds up to a sizable Christmas gift for the birthday boy himself. What better way to celebrate?

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