You know who I'm talkin' about. It's the people that get new Sunday duds twice a year. That's right, the people that attend church at Christmas and Easter. They show up as part of their family tradition, so church continues to make memories. It makes them feel good about God twice during the year. And they take our favorite pew to rub salt into the wound!
I have an inkling why they only attend twice a year. It's the two times a year they are guaranteed to hear about why Jesus came to the earth. So often our churches are full of sermons that could have been plucked off the self-help shelf at our local bookstore. How to Have a Happy Marriage; Five Ways to Bring Up Your Children; Twenty Best Kept Secrets to Be a Cheerful Giver. All things that are supposed to improve your life or make you happier. Funny thing is, they don't work.
At Christmas services, we are guaranteed that we will hear about Jesus. There will be the familiar passage in Luke's Gospel of Jesus' birth. It is read far and wide, in every Christian pulpit. Those people will see Jesus' love for them as He incarnates and creation celebrates His arrival. They will see God's sovereignty displayed in a baby lying in a manger, a feedstall, who had a scandalous virgin birth. Can you hear the whispers of Mary's neighbors? "She's pregnant. She's no virgin! Shameful!"
They will also hear that Jesus is their Savior, sent from our Heavenly Father, and how he receives worship from all of creation. The angels celebrate, the shepherds, the magi, even the animals. They will see how great the Father's love is that he has lavished on us.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ ~ Ephesians 1:7-9
They won't know these things unless somebody tells them. Welcome them into your churches. It is a wonderful thing they have arrived! They have come and will hear about salvation!
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” ~Romans 10:15
Put on your best Christmas shoes and join the celebration!