God's Christmas Gift (3 of 3) by Jeff Strite

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God's Christmas Gift (3 of 3)
Series: Christmas Gifts
Jeff Strite
John 3:1-3:18

OPEN: Preparing for large Christmas Eve family gathering, a mother had been giving out orders like a drill sergeant: "Pick up your things! Don't get your clothes dirty! Put away those toys."
Well, her 4-year-old daughter had been underfoot all day, so she sent her to the next room to play with their wooden Nativity set.
As the mother scurried around setting the table she overheard her daughter talking to her toys in the same tone of voice the mother had used: "I don't care who you are, get those camels out of my living room!"

APPLY: For years, many have attempted to get more than camels out of the living room. Over the years, there has been repeated and concerted efforts to get Christ out of Christmas.

Everything from removing Christmas carols from the public schools, to banning nativity scenes on the public property, to taking the name of Jesus out of any connection with Christmas in public life. It has been a persistent and unrelenting push to remove any influence God may have on this holiday.

ILLUS: Back in 1991, Dave Barry commented on the effect this phenomena has had in Florida:
"To avoid offending anybody, my son's school has dropped religion altogether and started singing about the weather. They now hold the winter program in February and sing increasingly non memorable songs such as 'Winter Wonderland,' 'Frosty the Snowman' and--this is a real song - 'Suzy Snowflake.' All of which is pretty funny because we live in Miami. A visitor from another planet would assume that the children belonged to the Church of Meteorology."

The effort to remove Christ from Christmas has been so successful that, according to a survey conducted a few years ago by the Barna Research Group (of a sampling that had 88% identifying themselves as "Christians) they found that:
• 37% of adults in the national survey said the birth of Jesus is the most important aspect of Christmas.
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