No, not the movie starring Tim Allen. No this one stars you. That is to say it’s not a movie at, but rather your life. And it’s unfolding around you in living Technicolor©, blasting your ears with Quadrophonic sound.
You’re at church.
You’re a tither, a regular attender. It’s normally a safe haven–a refuge from the cares and worries of life. But it’s Christmas. And all bets are off. Because the place is packed. Don’t get me wrong–you’re glad all those folks are there. God knows they need to hear the good news.
But you wish they were just a little more attentive.
And that little Johnny (not his real name) behind you would stop kicking your chair. Where are his parents anyway? Then there’s the kid right in front you, whose parents have given him an iPhone to pacify him. You keep hearing the squawking of Angry Birds©!
But, you keep reminding yourself, this is church.
Time was, people knew how to comport themselves, how to keep their children well-behaved… But not, it seems, anymore. You’re just about ready to slay someone in the spirit, but then the rousing rendition of “Joy to World” is followed by the minister, who has come to speak about the “Colors of Christmas.” How what can such a dark time in people’s lives can be made light in Christ. You’re enjoying it, trying to listen, when the mom, who was talking to a friend ask throughout the song service, begins reading a story book to her squirming, squalling child.
Boy, it sure seems like all the bored, distracted, tired people all around you just don’t love Jesus like you love Jesus…
Then you catch yourself wishing that none of them were there… That you could just have a minute to engage with what the pastor’s saying. That people, who likely only go to church twice a year, would act more like you…
Then you swallow, draw in a deep breath, as it dawns on you that maybe, just maybe, the Christmas cranks aren’t the unruly masses all around you.
Bowing your head in silent prayer, you ask for forgiveness.
And you thank God for Christmas.
For Jesus coming to redeem such a one as you.