Jones: The drama of Christmas
By Lynn Jones
Christmas is a time of high demand. One observer dubbed this as a season for “buying and sighing.” It is filled with a good bit of both.
A poet echoed that sentiment in these words: “While children eagerly await the twenty-fifth’s arrival, parents eye the twenty-sixth and hope for their survival.”
On the other hand, Christmas has been called “the most wonderful time of the year.” In many ways it is. When we enter the sanctuary on Sunday morning to see it filled with Christmas decorations, and then begin to sing the songs of Christmas, it is always a moving experience.
Our celebration of this season ought to be a moving experience because the event that produced it was such an astounding event. Nothing compares with it.
Hundreds of years before the coming of Christ, Isaiah, inspired by God’s Spirit, wrote about Christ’s coming. Isaiah said: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. . . For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:2,6)
One of the wonderful Christmas dramas that is often performed at this season of the year is a humorous and moving little play called “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. It tells the story of the rowdy Herdman kids. The Herdmans had never been to Sunday School, but when they heard that the teachers gave out Kool-Aid and cookies at Sunday School, they all came one Sunday morning. It just so happened that the church was casting the parts for the annual Christmas pageant that Sunday, and Imogene Herdman maneuvered her way into the starring role in the pageant. She was selected to play the part of Mary although she had never even heard the Christmas story.
A question arose during the rehearsal about the naming of the Christ child. One youngster piped up, quoting Isaiah, “His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Imogene Herdman shot the speaker a critical look and said, “He’d never get out of the first grade if he had to write all that.”
It is a long and imposing name, but it is a wonderful name. The name not only identifies Him but describes His ministry. It speaks of God’s love and grace which has found us in the sending of His Son. It is a love that we celebrate in this season and a love that we are called upon to extend to our entire world.
Harold Ivan Smith said: “His coming locked this world into a loving embrace. He asks us to strengthen the grip.”
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.