Tis the season. I think most college students dread finals. I know that I did. A whole semester’s worth of work is supposed to be summed up in a three hour exam. To make matters worse, more often than not, you usually had the two hardest finals on the same day. Days leading up to finals were hectic. Cramming, study sessions and more cramming were just a part of life.
Tis the season. Have you ever thought that Christmas brings finals to our churches? Before you think that I have finally gone crazy, think about it. Who shows up in our churches on Christmas?
The Christmas Christian shows up in our churches for the Christmas service. Much like the groundhog on Groundhog Day, the Christmas Christian makes a quick appearance before going back into hiding till Easter.
This Christian shows up two times a year. Our churches will be full this weekend. People that you haven’t seen since Easter are back. While you glad hand them and tell them how wonderful it is to see them, they are looking just as hard back at you.
Think about it. You only have two times a year to let those people know if you have been naughty or nice. While you have them for that hour, can they see Christ in you? I know you are going to be nice to them. That’s a given. The real question is whether they see someone that really cares about them. Are you showing genuine love for your fellow man?
In reality, you are probably thinking about going to grandma’s later on in the day. Besides, since they don’t show up that often it really don’t matter all that much. You’ll see them later in the week at the grocery store and tell them how glad you were to see them at church on Christmas.
Have you ever really wondered why these folks only show up twice a year? These people are Christians. And you know that they are not so vain as to believe that showing up at Christmas and Easter will gain them some favor with God.
Alas, but I am afraid that some regular churchgoers do believe just that. And that’s a shame. We miss out on some of the best opportunities to tell people about Jesus, because we have already decided that they aren’t really interested. We believe that they show up, just to be seen.
So it’s just my silly thought that Christmas and Easter are finals for those of us that consider ourselves regular churchgoers. We need to take all that the pastor has taught us and demonstrate our knowledge and love of Christ. And we need to show the Christmas Christian that we are real.
So if you happen to go the church this Sunday, look around. You will have a great opportunity to witness for Christ. And if you miss this opportunity, you’ll have another opportunity in the spring.
Be ready for Easter. These finals are real important. They are a matter of eternal life or death. So study hard.
God Bless you. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.