What a joy it was to see our church packed both Saturday and Sunday evenings with hundreds of visitors for the Christmas musical. On Sunday evening, we had many extra chairs set up, and there were still people in the lobby watching by video.
The musical presentation was The Voices of Christmas, and it highlighted the prophecies of Christmas before Christ was born, the very first Christmas, and what Christmas means to us today. Before the last choir song, I preached a salvation message and gave visitors an opportunity to receive Christ as their Saviour. We praise the Lord for the many guests who trusted Christ both evenings.
In my message, I pointed out four of the voices of Christmas that we may hear:
Voice of Materialism
I once heard about two brothers who were visiting their grandparents a few days before Christmas. Before climbing into bed, they knelt down to pray. One of the boys began to loudly ask the Lord for a list of toys, “Lord, I pray for a new bicycle, some Wii games….” His brother elbowed him, “Shh, you don’t have to pray so loud. God isn’t deaf you know.” The boy responded in a low voice, “I know God isn’t deaf, but Grandma is.” Apparently, this boy had clearly heard the voice of materialism!
Retailers help broadcast materialism’s voice, making Christmas the largest shopping season of the year. I appreciate the opportunities to give generously at Christmas, but I’m thankful that Christmas is about far more than simply getting and receiving.
Voice of Pluralism
Pluralism’s calls have grown bolder over the past several years. The very season that originated to celebrate Christ’s birth has, for many, been reduced to a “winter holiday.” One school administration recently sent the following memo to its teachers: “Please remember that we live in a multicultural community, and it is not acceptable to continue to act and speak as if everyone celebrates Christmas as the birth of Christ. The use of the word Christmas and references to nativity or birth of Christ is offensive to some members of our diverse community. Please remember to use neutral language in any of your decor, announcements, bulletin boards, and invitations. Use neutral language, such as ‘winter holiday,’ ‘winter programs,’ etc.”
Pluralism suggests that any way to Heaven is as good as the next—so long as a person truly believes in his or her chosen path. But pluralism’s voice is in direct contradiction to Christ’s voice when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Voice of Denominationalism
Many spend Christmas following the traditions of a denomination without stopping to consider if those traditions (or the denomination itself) follow the teachings of Scripture. Second Timothy 3:5 warns of those “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” There are many religious groups that celebrate the birth of Christ, but they do not celebrate the truth of why Christ came—to be the complete sacrifice for our sins.
Voice of Truth
The only voice that really matters is the voice of Truth. John the Baptist preached in a day of conflicting voices—much like our day—and described himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23). He proclaimed the truth about Christ when he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
The true voice of Christmas tells us that Jesus—God incarnate—was born to die. He purchased our salvation with His own blood when He died and rose again, and He offers us eternal life as a free gift (Romans 6:23).
I’m thankful for the many this past weekend who tuned out the voices of materialism, pluralism, and denominationalism and listened to the voice of Truth. They trusted Jesus as their Saviour and received the greatest Christmas gift ever!