It was a hot December day in the city of Melbourne, Australia. A line snaked its way along the front of Myers' department store, then back the other way. Families mainly, and the odd elderly couple or group of teenagers. Everyone was there to see the famous Myer Christmas window displays, a tradition for fifty-seven years. From early November until Christmas a steady stream of people file past the beautiful displays each day.
The lovely song "Where’s the line to see Jesus?" ( http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium ) reminded me of those December lines of people waiting to see the Myer windows. Santa was always somewhere in those window displays.
Months of work go into preparing the animated displays. There is a new theme each year, a storybook, a fairytale or a nursery rhyme. Long before computerized animation there were cobblers who hammered, elves that danced and fairies that flew. Children stood entranced and adults marveled at the intricate details and amazing mechanization. Everyone wanted to linger but there were always others waiting behind willing them to move on so they could have their turn. Parents had to drag their children on to each new window and its entrancement.
Several years ago my friend and her family toughed out the line, saw the window scenes, finally coming to the last window. It was a Disney theme and Disney figures danced, slid, climbed and swung through the scenes, but the last window displayed a nativity scene.
Just ahead of them, a little girl piped up. 'Why's the baby there? Why's there a baby in the Christmas display?'
Her mother turned to her husband and complained: 'Look, they've gone and put x* religion into Christmas again!'
Of course we can see the humor of her comment but isn't it rather like Christmas today in many places. Jesus is left out of the picture. The crowds queue for the Disney scenes and for Santa but most prefer to leave Jesus out of things. Christmas is tinsel and trappings, presents and parties.
Christmas celebrates the greatest birth in history, the time when God became a tiny human baby to live on earth with the people he created. And he did it for a reason. He had a big plan. His plan was to provide a way for us humans to be reconciled to God, to be made acceptable to God. He did this by dying as a human sacrifice on our behalf.
Christmas is only part of the story but it is an important part. Once people realize Jesus' significance and choose to put him in charge of their lives they want to see Jesus and bow before him as the shepherds and wise men did at his birth. If there was a line of people waiting to see Jesus it would stretch around the world.
As we see queues in shopping malls waiting to see Santa, let's wonder "Where’s the line to see Jesus?" and whether we would be in that line.
*The x represents a swear word.
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Excellent piece of writing here; love the tie-in to the song and reminiscing about a real place, and a real event that highlights the point of the song even more. Great gospel presentation as well. Well done.