‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

December 23, 2012

‘Twas the Sunday Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Sunday night before Christmas and all through our local church,
Only a few members brought a King James Bible to do a studious verse search.
As the Christmas bells had rung, the community eagerly filed through the door.
Most had not visited the church since Easter Sunday—eight months before!

How they loved the Christmas lights, but paid the Nativity Scene little attention.
After opening prayer and collection, there quickly arose a noisy dissension.
A man exclaimed his neighbor had given too little and had been very greedy.
The neighbor replied: “Hypocrite, you gave even less to the church and needy!”

Eventually, the congregation relaxed and picked up hymnals for singing to start.
Sadly, “worship” was just loud noise, and few sang to God with a faithful heart.
Then, a dear lady became overly emotional and violently collapsed to the floor.
An embarrassing spectacle—especially when others had no self-control anymore.

The pastor began to open God’s Word, but most had already closed their eyes.
All those professing Christians were no longer hiding behind their disguise.
For much of the congregation had just warmly snuggled up in their pews.
They thought they already did their duty… attending and paying monetary dues.

The pastor began, with only a few members with an open Bible in their lap.
(Recall the other “faithful” visitors had just cuddled up for a long hour’s nap.)
Those who stayed awake, but lacked a Bible, had difficulty following the pastor.
He taught God’s Word slowly and carefully, but how they wanted him to go faster!

“Hurry, preacher, we have much to do, save it for next year’s message if you can!”
So, I prayed that God’s grace would strengthen and encourage the poor dear man.
Pastor wanted these “babes in Christ” to learn sound doctrine from God’s Word.
Alas, they wanted something quick and cheerful, a feel-good lesson to be heard.

Sadly, the sound Christmas Bible study he presented was too fervent for them.
So, pastor ended with a salvation invitation and prayer, and we sang one last hymn.
Dear brother, I felt so sorry for him, having had to tolerate much foolishness today.
But what was Jesus Christ’s view of it all? What do you think He would say?

The Lord had glanced inside the hearts of all those members of our congregation.
He had found that most were lost in unbelief, headed for eternal condemnation!
They heard the Christmas message and the Gospel, but how they spurned it all.
If only they would believe the Gospel of Grace, and not miss the trumpet call.

If only they realized silly emotional things that appealed to the flesh did not honor God.
That our local church was open every Sunday; the floors not just for holidays to trod.
That studying God’s precious Word, the King James Bible, should not be taken casually.
That sound, faithful pastors are rare, and they should be encouraged, not treated disrespectfully.

That we are all undeserved sinners, regardless of our social status or financial state.
That it was nobody’s business how much money we gave in the collection plate.
That assembling to fellowship around God’s Word is a privilege, not a legalistic command.
That going to church is not mindless obligation performed in response to a preacher’s demand.

That “faith plus nothing” is really the most important doctrine in the life of us believers.
That salvation is a gift: God is the gracious Giver; and we are the unworthy receivers.
That the riches of God’s precious grace are currently being freely offered to all men.
That simple faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can save us from our sin!

—Shawn Brasseaux, 12/17/2008