He who saw it has borne witness -- his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth -- that you also may believe. John 19:35
It's Christmas Eve and many of us are headed to church.
Sadly, there are some folks who won't be joining us. High on the list of wallflowers are America's atheists who have no Savior to worship. Although the angel's announcement of God's good news of great joy was for all people, the American Atheists have turned a deaf ear and declined to go and "see this thing which has come to pass" (see Luke 2:10-20).
Of course, that doesn't mean Christmas has passed by our unbelieving friends and neighbors.
Not at all. These atheistic elves have been quite busy this Christmas season. You see, they have gone to the trouble and expense of designing a billboard, which they feel is witty enough and cute enough and catchy enough to stop Christians from celebrating the Savior's birth.
Now if you don't live in Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis, Milwaukee, or Fort Smith, Arkansas, you may have missed those billboards. So, let me tell you about them. This year's ad features the photo of a young girl who is writing her letter to Santa. That letter says, "Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales."
Well, I couldn't agree more.
If church and worship are filled with foolish fairy tales, then that little girl should skip the service, and so should her parents and all the rest of us as well.
All of this leads us to ask who is telling the truth? Who has the preponderance of evidence?
My friends, the answer to that question is pretty much a no-brainer. While the American Atheists have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to make fun of something in which they say they don't believe, they offer no solid, you-can-take-it-to-the-bank proof to back up their opinion. And if the only reason I am supposed to forget about Jesus is based on the word of another sinner, well, that just isn't going to do the job.
Instead, I'm going to listen to an old friend, a man by the name of John. Concerning Jesus and the events of the Savior's life, the beloved disciple wrote, "He who saw it has borne witness -- his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth -- that you also may believe."
John wasn't making up any myths when, by the Holy Spirit's direction, he wrote his Gospel. He wasn't relying on hearsay evidence for much of what he shared. John had been there as an eye-witness. He had first-hand experience that Jesus had done all that had been asked, all that had been promised to win our salvation.
Without fear of contradiction, John tells us Jesus' story, which means, tonight -- and always -- you can go to church with confidence that Jesus is the Way, the Life, and the Truth (see John 14:6).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, even as You gave new sight to Saul, the persecutor, I ask that You will let the scales of disbelief fall from the eyes of these atheists. Let them join us and see this wonderful gift of love You have given to win salvation for sinful humankind. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries