"The Baby Not The Bathwater"
December 29, 2009
And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will be for all the people." Luke 2:10
Christmas is over and atheists can breathe a sigh of relief.
According to an article carried by the Associated Press, during the days after Christmas atheists give out a communal sigh of satisfaction.
Once again they have managed to survive the Savior's birth.
· No longer do they feel the Christian world is out to get them.
· No longer do they stuff cotton in their ears to deaden the endless carols being played over the department store public address systems.
· No longer do they have to explain why they celebrate heathen customs like the
winter solstice rather than the Savior's birth.
· No longer do they have to boycott stores that encourage sales personnel to say,
· No longer do they have to look for Christmas cards with no reference to Christ.
Now, please understand it's not that the atheists in the AP story are completely against Christmas. They're not. As one of them said, "Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like." Another said, "People (atheists) shouldn't cave in to the notion Christmas belongs to Christians. Baby Jesus is just an excuse for a lot of people to party, anyway."
Now this devotion is not going to try and explain that if a person celebrates heathen customs, he's not an atheist but that he's just being anti-Christian and is against established mainstream religion. On the other hand, I would like to point out that enjoying food, presents, and family without knowing the Savior is not just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, it's throwing the baby out and keeping the bathwater.
Even more, I'd like to say throwing out this baby is a dangerous thing. Oh, yes, Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem, is cute and cuddly. But Jesus is also the Christ of the cross and the Savior of the empty tomb. Jesus' story of salvation -- His life, His death, His resurrection, are all cut from the same cloth.
As is the fact that this child in the manger will someday return to be our judge.
So, for those atheists who are feeling more relaxed, I'd like to say, please, use these days to relax, but also use them to take a serious look at the Savior who gave His life for your salvation.
Put aside your tinsel and glitter; put aside your prejudice and take a look. Ask some questions; find out that God is answering. You won't regret it.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the Savior is my reality and my Redeemer. Now I pray for those who have rejected Him. While there is still time may they be turned from self-satisfaction and intellectual unbelief and be brought to see the Savior. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries