Blog from President and CEO Mike Fichter: A Christmas Message for 2011

December 21, 2011

Remember back in the days before people pepper-sprayed other customers vying for Black Friday doorbusters, and when Cyber Monday could have been the title for a Star Trek episode? Those were the days when the Sears catalogue was the basis for the Christmas wish lists of kids everywhere, myself included. I still remember the thrill each Christmas season when the catalogue would magically arrive at our home (or at least it seemed so), and for weeks to follow I would thumb through the pages and dream of what might lie beneath the tree on Christmas morning.

Those were the days before megastores and the internet, days when the Sears catalogue was the only place to see the latest and greatest in toys and apparel. Where else could you find Gumby, G.I. Joe, Lincoln Logs and those crazy electric football games, all in one place?

Those were simpler days – days when Christmas wishes meant something more, days when families watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the smell of Tollhouse cookies filled the air, days when Christmas Eve church services brought entire communities together to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Nowadays, Charlie Brown competes with over 200 channels on satellite TV. Baking cookies has become inconvenient and, in some circles, politically incorrect. And more and more churches are eliminating Christmas Eve services in deference to social gatherings deemed more relevant in this age of entertainment. I don’t think I’ll ever understand that one.

Times are changing. But I still believe in Christmas wishes because I still believe in Christmas. Not the Christmas that has become the great American escape from reality, but the Christmas in which the God of the universe turned the world upside down by sending His son, His only son, on a mission that no one else could accomplish.

Over two thousand years ago, on that one dark night in the census-choked town of Bethlehem, a baby boy was born who would change the world forever. Ahead of Him lay three nails, a crown of thorns, and a broken heart. But for this one night – this one holy night – the angels sang, the shepherds bowed, a star pierced the blackest of nights, and His mother held Him tightly to her own beating heart.

It happened. It really happened. And all of the Black Friday ads combined cannot cover the glory of the God who took on flesh as He grew in His mother’s womb before entering the world with a birth that still sets church bells to ringing around the world.

May you and your family enjoy a blessed Christmas.

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