Are You Sleeping Through Christmas?

Slide1Today is Christmas. It will be a day filled with activity. Children will open the gifts from under their trees that have taunted them for weeks. Families will gather with those they have not seen in a long time. Others will gather in houses of worship to celebrate the birth of the Savior promised by prophet of old. For the vast majority, the thoughts and focus of today will be on the cultural aspects and traditions of Christmas. They will miss the One who is Christmas. Our generation would not be the first to miss this One. In their song, “While You Were Sleeping’, Casting Crowns wrote of the prospect of missing Jesus at Christmas:

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight
Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Bethlehem physically slept. It was a quiet night in Bethlehem, much like every other night. No one was expecting anything special to happen. While they slept, prophecies that would shape the course of human history were being fulfilled in their quaint little hamlet. While the residents of Bethlehem slept, the Savior of the world was born in a lowly stable with no fanfare, no attention, and no honor due a King. While the residents of Bethlehem slept in peaceful dreaming, the landscape of their world was changed forever. Together the stars and the angels proclaimed the birth of the Christ-child with no applause from man. The residents of Bethlehem secured a place for themselves in history as, “a city with no room for its King.” They go on to write:

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night
The Father gave His only Son
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save
Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Thirty-plus years after Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, the people were still asleep. They slept with their eyes wide open. Spiritually cold and indifferent. No concern. No care. No conviction. They slept while the Son of God hung was nailed to a cross. The residents of Jerusalem slept while Jesus died. The residents of Jerusalem slept while the Messiah, the One the religious leaders were looking for, the One they should have recognized, gave His life for the people who cried “Crucify Him.” He came as their writings and witnesses told. He had walked among them, performed miracles, taught, and loved. He testified that to have seen Him meant to have seen the Father. He yielded. He died. While they were mocking, He was forgiving. While they were callous and unconcerned, their eternity was on His mind. While they claimed He was a liar, the Father proved the truthfulness of His testimony. The residents of Jerusalem secured a place for themselves in history as, “a city with no room for its King.” Before we take the residents of Bethlehem and Jerusalem to task on their failure to recognize and worship Jesus Christ, notice again the words of Casting Crowns:

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night
America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

We are a sleeping nation. In broad daylight with the sun shining brightly, we sleep. With the complete thoughts and mind God written for us revealing our sin, pointing us to the cross, and calling us to die to self, we sleep. Lullabies of tolerance, coexistence, and compromise rock our nation to sleep every night. Lullabies of “many paths to God”, “man is his own god”, and “feed what makes you feel good” enable a nation to peacefully sleep. Violence, hate, fear, and greed are the most newsworthy items of our day. We are living in a country where creation is worshiped over the Creator. We live in a country where trees, animals, and other things that do not bear the image of God are elevated above and valued more than human life that does bear the image of God. We live in a country where a person is still judged by the color of their skin. We live in a country where a person is judged by their birthplace. We live in a country where a person is judged based on their economic worth. The most troubling part is that America seems to be sleeping well. What will it take to stir this nation from its sleep? What will happen to our nation if we continue to sleep? How long before God Himself says, “that’s enough” and the Bridegroom splits the sky to receive His own? Will Americans secure for themselves a place in history as, “a city with no room for its King?” We certainly seem to be headed that way.

Today is Christmas. As we spend time with our families, exchange gifts, and share meals together, let’s be reminded of Luke’s words about today.

“Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s