by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Unsafe Savior (4 of 5)
Series: Jesus in Narnia
Jeff Strite
Luke 2:25-35

OPEN: James Martin (in an article in the devotional ''The Upper Room'') wrote the following:
On a trip to the Holy Land, I bought a nativity set for my Sunday School. It was carved out of olive wood in Bethlehem itself, and had all the traditional figures - sheep and oxen, wise men and shepherds. Mary and Joseph and, of course, the baby Jesus.
On the return trip, security at Tel Aviv airport was very strict. I remember thinking they wouldn¡¦t trouble to examine my nativity set; it was obviously innocent. But they did. Each figure was carefully scrutinized and even taken away for x-ray examination.
The security officer apologized as he explained: ''... we must make sure there is nothing explosive in them.''

APPLY: On the surface - Christmas hardly seems ''explosive''. In fact it seems extremely innocent. How could something as gentle as a baby in a manger be threatening. I remember watching a Christmas pageant in my home church and seeing the host of angels crowd the balcony, the children dressed as sheep make their way to the front where Mary and Joseph and the baby were displayed. It was cute and gentle and touching all at the same time.

Everyone was smiling
Everyone was at peace
Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright

But nowadays, there are those - who quite literally - hate Christmas
They'll threaten lawsuits if there's a manger on the public square
They'll sue school districts that dare to sing about Jesus
And this season (for a time) there were those who successfully convinced many businesses to forbid their clerks to wish anyone a ''Merry Christmas.''

Not everyone is smiling
Not everyone is at peace
And you get the impression that it may only be a matter of time before you won't be hearing ''Silent Night'' played at places like Wal-Mart and Target

What's happened? Why are so many people so all-fired set on getting Christ out of Christmas ...

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