************ Chapel Talk on Christmas ************

By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman

This chapel talk was given on December 18, 2002

CVC Christmas Chapel
"The Real Meaning of Christmas"

Let's suppose, let's just suppose, that a flying saucer (Slide 2) came flying by Neptune (Slide 3) and Saturn (Slide 4) and landed on earth (Slide 5).

You watch in amazement as a space creature comes walking out. Here is his picture (Slide 6). And, here is another picture (Slide 7). Yes, it is our old friend: ET.

ET lands on December 18, 2002. It is one week before Christmas. ET sees you and gives you a hug (Slide 8). ET says to you, "Let's go for a walk. I want to learn about this thing you call Christmas." So you go for a walk (Slide 9).

Now, I should mention that ET uses his powers so you are able to go a long ways in a short time: he can make your bike fly (Slide 10).

You go to Washington, D.C. You see the national Christmas Tree that President Bush lit up last week (Slide 11). You enjoy the lights and decorations (Slide 12). You pass by Washington National Cathedral (Slide 13). In front is a manger scene (Slide 14). Inside, you hear the voices of a choir singing about the Messiah's birth (Slide 15). As you turn away from the church building, ET points at the display across the street: you see a fat man dressed in red and reindeer (Slide 16). But this bike does not fly. You look at ET. He has a confused look on his face.

You and ET decide to stroll through a mall. Everywhere you hear piped in music: "Jingle Bells," "Dashing Through the Snow," "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Many stores display a snowman. One even had a postcard of a snowman on the beach (Slide 17). You pass by a Christian Bookstore (Slide 18) and you hear the refrain of "Joy to the World! The Lord is Come." Signs and advertisements remind you that you have only 6 more shopping days until Christmas. When you look at ET, you notice he is looking even more confused than the last time you looked at him.

Outside the mall you see and hear someone ringing a bell. A sign says "Salvation Army." Lots of people drop coins and paper money into his kettle (Slide 19). You turn around and are bumped by a fat man in a red suit saying "Ho, Ho, Ho." Behind him is a display of another man in a red suit and reindeer (Slide 20). ET is really looking confused now.

You decide to return home. You grab the mail. You sort through it. A flyer from K-Mart (Slide 21). Another flyer from K-Mart (Slide 22). A flyer from Toys R Us (Slide 23). A flyer from Target (Slide 24). A Christmas Card from friends wishing us warm Christmas greetings (Slide 25). Another Christmas Card (Slide 26). And still another Christmas card has these three guys on camels (Slide 27). You mom is playing a CD and you hear something about Peace on Earth. ET is not only looking confused; he is also looking troubled.

He plops down on a chair in the family room. He notices your Christmas tree and the pile of presents (Slide 28). He hears the stereo playing "O Come, All Ye Faithful." He sees a poster that says "Jesus is the Light" (Slide 29).

"I'm confused," said ET (Slide 30). "All of this has to do with Christmas?"
-What's the connection between the fat man in the red suit and the manger?
-What does Jingle Bells have to do with Joy to the World?
-What do the presents under the tree have to do with the man with the bell and the kettle?
-What do the lights and decorations and trees have to do with peace on earth?

What will you say, boys and girls?

When we think about it, we have to admit that too many times we send the wrong message at Christmas. To many times we act like Christmas has more to do with Santa than with Jesus. To many times we put more emphasis on getting presents than on giving presents.

You explain this to ET. You tell him about Jesus and Mary (Slide 31). You tell him about the shepherds in the hills around Bethlehem (Slide 32). You tell him how the shepherds visited Jesus at the manger (Slide 33). You tell him about the star that led the wisemen (Slide 34). You tell him how the wisemen worshiped Jesus (Slide 35). You tell him that Jesus brings peace on earth (Slide 36). You tell him that Jesus is the best present God has ever given the world (Slide 37). And, you tell him how important it is to give your heart to Jesus.

ET breaks into a smile. He thanks you for making the meaning of Christmas clear to him. He gives you another hug (Slide 38). And leaves.

Pray with Children.
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