Not Missing the Point

on Friday, December 28, 2007

A little joke that I heard;

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven." The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter.

He flicked it on. It represents a candle, he said. "You may pass through the pearly gates", said Saint Peter.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells." Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates."

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's knickers. St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just how do those symbolize Christmas?"

The man replied, "They're Carol's."

Ba-da-Boom!

And singing carols is exactly how I spent Christmas eve and Christmas day. On Christmas eve, I went to a friends home and the husband and wife played host to family, friends and even neighbors. Everyone brought something along so that the hostess was not too worn out with the practicalities of providing for about 50 people.

The highlight though was that we put together a small band consisting of a pianist, 2 guitarists and a drummer and we all got together to sing Christmas Carols. I was made to be the song leader which I did with much enthusiasm. Being warm Malaysia, I was soaked in sweat by the end of the singing. I also shared a little about how Christmas was about God's gift of love and hope to men in their darkness, the gift of Jesus Christ. Today, Christmas may come up all wrapped up in gift exchanges, Santa Claus, Christmas trees and such like but to focus on that and not on Christ is like getting excited about the gift wrappings and ribbons but forgetting about the present itself.

On Christmas Day, our church actually took over a small actor's studio and stage and held a service attended bu about 300 people. There were two plays presented; one by the Sunday School kids of ages 10 and under and another by the youth. Both plays and the subsequent message focussed on the thought that we should not miss out on the most important thing about Christmas.

I found the play by the youth especially good. The play started in Bethlehem on that first Christmas and it focussed on how busy the innkeeper and his wife was because the hotel was full. So busy that they did not play with their children or tend to their needs. So busy that they did not notice the stream of shepherds visiting the baby in the stable. So busy that they failed to notice the choir of angels in the sky proclaiming the Saviour's birth.

The play then shifts to modern days and we see a young couple who have no time to play with their kids. They have too much work, too much church activities and too much other activities. So busy with buying presents, with cooking, with throwing parties that they miss out on the most important aspect of Christmas.....Christ himself.

I had a great Christmas. I hope yours was also wonderful and blessed.

15 comments:

Sincerity said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time! But its even better that your focus is on what counts the most. You're absolutely right Mr. Grey Squirrel, to focus on only the wrapping and not the gift itself is just really sad. :(

I guess that's why God asked us to spread the word... that there's a gift for everyone and its a great idea to open them and see what's inside. Isn't God awesome?!
I mean come on! Who doesn't love someone who gives away free gifts?!

I hope you have a great New Years!

Josie said...

Hi, Calvin. Great post! I am so angry that Christ has been taken out of Christmas. We must not allow that to happen.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I sure did!

I thought of you on Christmas morning. My daughter is a bird watcher, and she received a bird feeder that keeps the squirrels out! Can you believe such a thing? I chuckled.

Cheers,
Josie

Janice Thomson said...

I'm just imagining all the wonderful heat in Malaysia as the snow is falling fast and furious right here, right now this Thursday morning!
So glad you had a wonderful holiday enjoying Christmas in an old-fashioned way. For me it has been a peaceful time of quiet reflection and reaffirmation - and lots of lights and candles for a soft warm glow.

Molly said...

Hear, hear LGS! Carols [not her knickers!] are my favourite part of Christmas. Silent Night can always send chills up my spine. Wish I'd been their for your impromtu orchestra/choir! Hope you have a wonderful new year.....

Dave said...

Thanks for that joke Calvin... I really needed a good laugh tonight. Have a happy new year! :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Your Christmas sounds perfect in every detail, Calvin.

But if Carol catches her death of cold, it's on you.

barb michelen said...

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evalinn said...

Sounds like u had a good time! :-)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

sincerity,
Thanks for your kind comments. I guess we should be out and about telling others about this free gift. Have a blessed New Year.

josie,
exactly! Christ is the centre of Christmas. Removing him is like removing squirrels from a bird feeder......evil!

janice,
I did enjoy my Christmas but given a choice, I prefer a quieter, contemplative Christmas like yours.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

molly,
The impromptu band was a lot of fun. The drummer and the bass guitarist and were brother and sister. One is about 8 and the other 12 years old.

dave,
you're welcome. You don't know a Carol, do you?

hearts,
I was trying to think of a witty response that didn't make me look like a male chauvinist pig but I couldn't find one.....so no witty reply. ;)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

barb,
Is this spam?

evalinn,
yes indeed and I enjoyed making a lot of sound and noise thinly disguised as singing carols.

thethinker said...

Haha, I really liked that joke.

CS said...

That was a heck of a transition, from undies to a church play!

It's so easy to get caught up in the material aspects of Christmas and miss the spirit of it entirely.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

thethinker,
Thanks. I was worried that my female readers might find it a little sexist.

cs,
It wasn't so much a transition but an introduction! :) It didn't work?

heiresschild said...

LGS, you have a way with words and put them beautifully into your posts, even carol's knickers. lol carolling with the neighbors sounded like a lot of fun. people just don't do things like that around here anymore. i miss those times, that's why sometimes i'd like to move to a small town.

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