By Richard Hayes, District Representative, Southwest
Would you muse with me about the noise of the Christmas season?
We can all agree that the Christmas season brings noise of various forms and decibels.
The Noise of the Christmas Season: An Example
On my wife Ellen’s birthday, we went to one of her favorite places: Disneyland. Besides the wonderful time we experienced with each other and with our daughter Christina and her fiancée Dan, we eagerly anticipated the Candlelight Ceremony, an event held since 1955.
The Candlelight Ceremony includes area churches, college choirs and an orchestra that sing popular Christmas hymns and anthems. The Ceremony ends with the Christmas story read from the Bible by a celebrity. This year actor Chris Pratt possessed the honor. The Candlelight Ceremony provided a moving worship experience, but what struck me was the noise surrounding the event.
During the Candlelight Ceremony, life continued as usual around Disneyland. The crowd, pushed into the roped off area facing the beautifully decorated Main Street Train Station, was eager to hear the orchestra and choir of over 700 perform.
We heard the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ presented through powerful and moving Christmas hymns and anthems. I was intrigued that as Chris Pratt came to the podium to read the Christmas story from the Scriptures, life around the Candlelight Ceremony audience continued as normal.
The audience assembled for the Candlelight Ceremony was, for the most part, quiet and respectful. But the surrounding crowd displayed the opposite behavior. Talking, rushing to the next destination, family squabbles–we heard all this as the Word of God was read. The noise drowned out–at least for those particular individuals–the most wonderful words they could possibly ever hear.
Noise in Our Lives
I began to ponder: is this not exactly the type of thing going on in the communities we serve?
Our Village Missionaries and the churches they serve faithfully proclaim the Gospel. But the noise of the season, and for that matter, life in general, drowns out the most precious and wonderful, life transforming words any mortal could possibly every hear: the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation He freely offers.
I invite you again to muse with me about the noise of the Christmas season. Does the noise of the Christmas season drown out not only the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also His Word, in your life? We are not exempt from the noise of life, nor of the Christmas season. Together, let’s pray for ourselves, our families and every soul in the communities we serve, that each would hear God’s Word and the call of the Gospel clearly above the noise of the Christmas season.