Every Christmas, pastors complain about those Creasters who join the party. For you non-nerds, Creasters are Christmas and Easter worship attendees. They only come on those major festive holidays.
I can’t wait to see them. I can’t wait to tell them about our Savior. I can’t wait to talk to fresh ears about a God who loves us, who went to hell and back for us, for them. I can’t wait for them to hear the choirs and instruments. I can’t wait to see their faces as the lights are dimmed and “Silent Night” is sung (the first verse in German, of course).
Oh, I know some of them are coming for the wrong reason. They just want add it to their cultural Christmas experience. They got dragged in by mom. They love the pretty colors, and this is just the finale of a drive through town looking at the decorations. And sure, there are some who have a personal obligation to the old man upstairs. They need to put in their time.
There are a lot of bad reasons for going to church. But what’s your excuse? What’s mine? Ha, I was dragged here by my parents at two months old. No one asked me. I sure as heck didn’t come here on my own volition! Then this dude dunked me, and the next thing I know I’m sitting in the back of a room drawing pictures of Jonah and the whale in Sunday School. Thank God the pastor didn’t say, “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
Oh, but you’re so loyal now. You come every Sunday, never out of habit or fear. Always a pure and true compulsion right? Right!
Who knows why they will come? Except they are all sinners holding on to some guilt and shame. They are all mortals scared of their shadows and visiting graves. They are exactly the type of people Jesus was born for, died for, and rose again!
After all, shepherds did not go searching for angels, let alone a manger. The angels surprised them that night. A “black swan” event if there ever was one. It changed their whole world. They never saw it coming. They were just going through the routine of every of December evening.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Unto you! You self righteous, son of a gun. Unto you! You hard working, never say no, always signing up for every committee. Unto you! You self loathing, secret holding, think you’re a freak hypocrite. Unto you! You too busy to go to church every Sunday and see Christmas and Easter as just cultural experiences. Unto you! You promise breaking, habit killing, up and down feeling, stumbling Christian! Jesus was born for you!
And our Christmas service on Christmas Eve is FOR YOU! You are forgiven by the blood of this Son. Can’t wait to see you!