Sunday, December 20, 2009

In 2000, John Grisham wrote a book entitled, “Skipping Christmas.” The book is about a couple named Luther and Nora Krank who do more than threaten to skip Christmas. They actually make plans to do it, as we saw in a 2004 movie based on Grisham’s book called “Christmas with the Kranks.” To be forthright, the idea of skipping this Christmas Missive has been tempting this year.

In the book, Luther is beside himself when he learns his family spent over $6,000 the previous Christmas, and now, they have nothing to show for it. With his daughter in the Peace Corp, Luther convinces Nora to skip Christmas for a year, and put their money into a Caribbean cruise. Luther and Nora decide to forgo presents, parties, a Christmas tree, Christmas lights, and the annual Christmas Eve bash. Most importantly, Luther and Nora decide to bail out of the neighborhood decorating contest in which all the neighbors put an identical Frosty the Snowman on their roofs. The plot of the book focuses on how the neighborhood in general, and one fussy neighbor in particular reacts to the Kranks for choosing to skip Christmas.
Like the Kranks, we may be tempted to skip Christmas. No crowded malls, and even better, no crammed parking lots. No office parties. No Christmas letters that brag endlessly about family accomplishments. No anxiety about finding the perfect gifts. And no stretched-to-the-limit credit cards.

Best of all, no fruitcakes. Or worst of all, depending on your point of view!

But the truth is, despite our reservations most of us willdive headlong into the holidays like we always do, complete with Christmas trees, parties, presents, and even fruitcake. The truth is, our greatest temptation is not to skip Christmas but to skip the true meaning of Christmas.

You see, it’s very easy to be so engrossed in what you’re doing that you skip over the main point of it all.

In “The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good about the Good News?” Peter J. Gomes, asks which question is more difficult for Christians to ask of themselves: WWJD--"What Would Jesus Do?" or WWJHMD--"What Would Jesus Have Me Do." The question is not just rhetorical. Most of us can discern what the Lord Jesus might do in a given situation. We might assume that knowledge would motivate us to imitate the actions of He whose advent we celebrate at Christmas. But it doesn’t always work out that way.

Christmas calls for a response. Jesus' followers must ask themselves daily, "What would Jesus have me do?" Jesus' followers are called to do more than think about Jesus and reflect spiritually; we are called to action in a world that needs the living witness of our example and not just our words.

WWJHMD. Let the gospel grab hold of you. Let the meaning of Christmas transform not just who you are, but how you behave. Be courageous, obedient and faithful.


  1. Thanks Harry.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family...young man!

    Peace and happiness. Go slowly, enjoy every moment you can...and I think you do!