A local shopping center recently had a Christmas lights party where they invited the community to celebrate the official lighting of its Christmas decorations. They had fireworks (as seen above), free hot chocolate & apple cider, and a local church to come and “do the show.”
In fact, this local church was the centerpiece of the program. Their talented musicians provided ambiance (despite poor mike work and lousy sound set-ups) to the occasion playing and singing many magical Santa songs and one set of three or four Christmas carols. The “youth” group got in on the act as well.
When we arrived at the event we were expecting a secular presentation, free hot chocolate (as advertised), and a chance to be out and about after a week of work and school. Noticing the prominence of the church involvement, we thought that this might be a good outreach in which Jesus would be presented to many.
We were wrong. Jesus was only mentioned as a character in a few songs. He was not talked about as the nice people gave my children their hot chocolate. He was not there. We were even told to wish each other “Happy Holidays” thereby taking His name out of the celebration entirely.
This “church” thinks it did a “community outreach.” They provided mediocre entertainment, hot chocolate, and a hot air balloon. They conducted a membership drive for a social club. When given the opportunity to “preach Christ crucified” they gave free photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The free travel mug was nice though. My wife scraped the name off it and decorated it.
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 (ESV)