Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's His Birthday, isn't it?

The baby in the manger.

A little bundle of crying and cooing and joyful humanity. And yet fully God.

He came to dwell among us. He came to provide a link back to right standing with the Father. He came to live abundantly and die terribly. He came to be the miracle of resurrection.

He came to save me. And you.

I love Christmas. I love the tree, the lights, the movies. I love the decorations and the parties. I love the exchange of presents. I love the music.

But I hurt for that baby. It’s His birthday and he gets ignored so much.

Last night we went to Noah’s Holiday choir concert at school. He was wonderful. The best, in my opinion.

But it hurt, too. They sang songs about Santa, about winter weather, even about Hanukkah. In the program there was a poem about Kwanzaa. But not about Jesus. They used the word Christmas as in We wish you a Merry Christmas and that line during Silver Bells “It’s Christmas time in the city.” But no Christ. No mention of that baby. Nothing.

I’ve heard all the hullabaloo about taking Christ out of Christmas. When I hear someone say to me “Happy Holidays” I respond with “Merry Christmas.” Just to keep the King of all in on His party.

But last night, it really hit home. It tore me up that my boy couldn’t sing about that baby. Yes, I will write a letter and I am going to talk to the principal and the choir teacher. But I have to tell you, I don’t know that it will change much. And maybe I should be angry and all up in arms and storm into that public school and give them a piece of my mind.

But I’m not angry. Just incredibly sad. Not just for Noah. He knows whose birthday it is. We teach him and he knows. He knows that the school has certain policies that make no sense. He knows that people, so many people, are frightened of the power of the name of Christ, because it is a name that in itself is POWER.

So I’m not sad for him.

I’m sad for that baby. The one who loves us all, no matter what we celebrate or how we celebrate. He is so Big and so Loving, He loves us even if we forget it’s HIS BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday Jesus. I’m sorry about last night. I’m sorry about all the times that I do the same thing, in different ways. I am going to sing an extra song every day just for that baby this season. A tiny gesture, but it's from the heart.

Let's all remember whose birthday it is instead of having our own "Holiday concert" and forgetting to sing to Him.


Ralph said...

Sounds like everyone got invited to the party except the birthday boy. Talking is good to let people know how you fel but leave the storm at home and keep your mind, you'll need it to write more books.

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you Ralph! Your comment really encouraged me!

dianne in colorado said...

You might want to check into what your school district actually says about holiday celebrations. A mom at my kids' school was fed up with us having menorrahs (did I spell that right?) and Kwanza mats, but holidays trees with seasonal ornaments. She found that Douglas County's literature says that it is okay to make mention of religious celebrations. This mom wrote a letter to the principal, and had many families from the school sign it, asking to allow all families to bring in something special from whatever holiday they celebrate in December, for a display case in the entry way of the school. The principal agreed and now we have a case full of nativity scenes and angels. Maybe this would work for your son's school as well.

It also helps that our principal is strong enough to stand up to objectors who complain about the school's "holiday concert" that includes primarily Christmas songs.

Good luck with this and have an awesome birthday party for Jesus!

Robbie Iobst said...

Thanks Dianne.

FYI - I emailed the principal and the choir teacher and got emails from both. Very amiable. They both said that "I saw 3 ships on Christmas Day" is about the Trinity and therefore it was the one that represented Christ in the holidays. They also mentioned peace on earth and good will to men in one of the spoken lines and they said that is from the Bible.

Um...yeah...all right. Sing about Hannukuh, Santa, Winter and write a poem about Winter Solstice, but sing one song about Christ that is totally symbolic and only mentions Him in code? Give me a break.

Next year I will address this BEFORE the concert.

Megan DiMaria said...

What a disappointment. We're in Douglas County and were thrilled to have enjoyed several Christian Christmas songs sung at our high school when our kids were there. It was a big shock though because we came from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania where no mention of Jesus was allowed during Christmas.

Hang in there, Robbie. You could bring change to your school.

Jan Parrish said...

Great post Robbie. I'm sad for all the kids who don't know about the reason for Christmas. If all they see is the focus on gifts, what an empty holiday it would be.

"Three ships" represents the trinity? Bah Humbug!