No, it’s not a joke. These are three characters or rather three aspects of one character from our Christmas play that was performed this week in our Middle and Primary Chapels.
The dramatisation was a reinterpretation of events that took place 2,000 years ago and still gives us reason to look forward to the end of December today.
The story goes that shepherds heard the news that Jesus, the chosen one, had been born in Bethlehem. Much like an overly clucky new grandmother, they just couldn’t keep it to themselves. They had to run straight there and then tell everyone.
In our version, the shepherds meet Bob, a man in a wolf costume. He is living a life of cheap deception, just hoping to fill his purse with a half-shekel or two. Later the same Bob appears as the inn-keeper. He’s still trying to swindle every half-shekel he can out of everyone he can. He’s still wearing his wolf suit. It’s not until he meets Jesus that Bob changes clothes and changes his ways.
I particularly love one line from Bob’s story. It comes right at the end of our play. Reflecting on his story, Bob explains to the young shepherd,
I spent my whole life following my nose and chasing my tail — always looking for a few extra shekels to fill my coin pouch. It got me nowhere. He [Jesus] helped me see that.
Just like Bob, we can be tempted to chase materialistic things in our lives and there’s no easier time to chase those things than Christmas. But also like Bob, we know in our hearts that as fun as all the presents and decorations and trappings of Christmas can be, they don’t do everything we hope they will. We can walk away from Christmas feeling physically full of ham, prawns and pavlova but inside, on a deeper level, we feel empty.
What’s Bob’s answer to this dilemma?
Trade chasing money for chasing the Messiah. Trade the wolf outfit for sheep’s clothing. Trade your old life for a new one. The good news of Christmas is that the birth of Christ makes it possible for us to be born again.
Or as the well-known Christmas tune goes,
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the new-born king”
Do you need a fresh start? Have you gotten lost in the materialism of Christmas time in our modern world? Maybe it’s time to take that invitation to go from dead-end life to being raised to life with Jesus.
The Bible says in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 4-5,
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
And in Colossians chapter 3 verses 1-2,
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
We have such good news to celebrate at Christmas time. Let’s celebrate Jesus this Christmas with even more gusto than we put into our black Friday shopping. I believe if we do that, our Christmas will be that much more meaningful this year.
Hope you have a truly wonderful Christmas!
Isaiah Logan, College Pastor
P.S. If you want to celebrate Jesus on Christmas day, join us at Glasshouse Country Baptist Church. We meet in the GPAC on Christmas day and every Sunday. We’d love to see you then!