Friday, December 23, 2005

Birthday Party for Jesus

The Sunday School time on Christmas morning at my remarkable congregation will feature a “Birthday Party for Jesus,” complete with songs, gifts, and birthday cake. When my four-year-old son, Wesley, heard this news, he was quite overjoyed. It blew his mind to think that we would get the rare opportunity to learn about Jesus on his actual birthday! This was a pleasure that was almost too wonderful for him to comprehend.
After several minutes of giggling with delight at the notion, he said, “Yeah, and I’m going to hurry up and eat all the birthday cake before Jesus can get any.”
Now, at first that remark is worth a chuckle. It’s one of those “kids say the darndest things” moments. But listen underneath his words and hear the faith of a child being expressed. Wesley really expects Jesus to show up on Sunday morning to attend his birthday party. He knows with certainty that Jesus will be there and will, in fact, be expecting birthday cake. In his childlike innocence, Wesley has articulated the doctrine of incarnation more succinctly than any theology text book ever could.
What would happen if we all went to church on Sunday morning and really expected Jesus to show up?

Merry Christmas, everybody.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Good question! How odd, though, that such a question should even be asked! I still have the Catholic notion of the Eucharist in my heart in that I fully expect the Lord to be present each time (we celebrate Communion every Sunday) we gather. Now I have to wonder if I am consciously aware of my expectation!

Thanks a lot!