Christmas Doesn’t Stink . . . It’s Just Pewie
My husband is a Pastor. So Christmas is like his “busy Season.” The hubbub is always the same. Christmas means more people. More people means more cars, and the parking lot remains the same. Members are encouraged to carpool, staff required to park on the street, more spaces designated for the elderly.
The city has ordinances for how much parking a church must have. The required number of spaces is based on a tush to pew ratio. A few years ago our city reevaluated the number. Turns out the average American bottom has increased in size so the ratio has decreased. Instead of eight rears per pew, the city now only accounts for six. Do the math and you’ll find that any church built more than three years ago actually has more parking than room in the pews — because its members have become too big for their briches.
It is a Christmas metaphor of sorts. Only instead of there being no room at the Inn there is no room in the pew.
At the time of Mary’s miraculous conception and Jesus’ birth, there was another chosen woman. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist whose purpose was to make the way for Jesus. John did, and so created a bit of controversy. Was he the messiah? Should he be followed or Jesus? John’s response was simple. He was to decrease so that Jesus could increase.
It always seems ironic to me. All year in church we are told not to be like the twice-a-year Christians (the ones who only show up on Christmas and Easter), and then suddenly in December all we talk about is how THOSE very Christians are coming. We put up the poinsettias to greet them and discuss how it is a once a year opportunity . . . for us. Somehow Christmas becomes about filling the pews, and that is the one thing that will keep them empty.
We must decrease . . . not literally in the size of our tush . . . but in the pride of our heart. Christmas is not a day for all THOSE people to join us. In a small way we are joining them.
The whole point of Jesus is that He leveled the playing field. Before He came, only one man was allowed to see God (the High Priest). And even then, only once a year . . . if he was pure enough to survive the experience.
Jesus was God coming to us. Coming in the only form that would allow unlimited access.
As Christians, our only job is to make way for Him. That anyone wanting to see Him will not be hindered by the size of our own self-importance. Make room in your pew today. Let His coming be bigger than your perfect attendance.