One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is stroll on over to the Epcot theme park that is part of Walt Disney World and enjoy the Candlelight Processional. If you know anything about this particular theme park, then you are aware that a significant portion of the park is the World Showcase. The World Showcase is designed to be a sort of permanent World’s Fair with different countries and cultures represented from all over the globe. Strategically placed in the World Showcase is ‘The American Adventure,’ complete with animatronics singing and narrating you through the history of our great country. Once a year during the holiday season, ‘The American Gardens Theater’ is filled with a massive choir, 50-piece orchestra, and a celebrity narrator who reads Luke 2 while the choir sings all the Christmas hymns about Jesus’ birth. I find it amazingly beautiful that one of the most well attended events at one of the most well attended theme parks in the world…is people singing and reading about the birth of Christ 2000-ish years ago. Seriously, people wait up to 3 hours at the hopes of getting into the theatre for one of the three nightly performances. Furthermore, I find it fascinating that Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow and yet something ancient is still the most attractional experience in the park. Each year, as I sit out under the stars listening to “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World,” my setting serves as a helpful reminder that He is both the God of history and God of the future. At the center of all God’s plans is Jesus (see John 1 or Col. 1:16), and at the center of history, past and future, was His birth into this world.
Last week I attempted to demonstrate that the Christmas spirit points us to the birth narrative that is at the heart of the redemption story. This week, I would like to advance our discussion of the Christmas spirit one step further by discovering, or rediscovering, some of the great aspects of Luke 2. If the birth narrative is part of a tapestry telling the most beautifully true story ever, then the following are just some of the threads woven throughout.
Reflections on the Redemption Story and the birth of Jesus:
- The humble context of Jesus’ birth demonstrates that from the outskirts of obscurity can arise something beautiful to behold.
- The promises of God are the glue that holds the events of the birth narrative together teaching us that God has fulfilled his commitment to us so that we can live committed to Him.
- The birth narrative teaches us that out of a silent night can emerge a Savior that will draw shepherds from close by, Magi from afar, and tourists thousands of years later from all over the world.
- There is great joy available for all people…and his name is Jesus.