Jesus In the Background of Christmas

I read a blog post yesterday from my friend, Ian Cron, (when I grow up I want to be able to write like him).  It convicted me in so many ways and I just had to share a portion of it with you guys. He wrote…

A year ago Rob and I were sitting in a Starbucks in Connecticut, drinking lattes and catching up when he turned his gaze toward the ceiling.

“Do you hear that?” Rob said, his expression darkening.

“Hear what?” I said.

“Listen,” he said, glaring at the white speaker grilles above our heads. “Do you know that song?”

I closed my eyes and strained to hear the music over the hiss and gurgle of milk being steamed for someone’s cappuccino.

I shrugged. “Nope,” I said. “I can’t make it out.”

Rob threw his hands up in the air. “That’s a cut off Miles Davis’ record Kind of Blue,” he said, his voice rising with indignation.

“Alright,” I said. “Apparently this bothers you.”

“It’s MILES DAVIS!” he said, slapping the tabletop with his hand.

I’ve known Rob for 30 years. He’s talented. He’s smart. He’s not afraid to speak his mind.

“When brilliant compositions are used for background music it desensitizes people to their genius,” he continued.

I paused. “You mean familiarity breeds contempt?” I said.

“Precisely. If an amazing piece of music is constantly playing in the background your admiration for it doesn’t increase, it diminishes. It becomes no big deal,” Rob said, imitating someone trying to speak and yawn at the same time.

At the time I thought Rob’s remarks were insightful but overstated, and yet something about them rang true. They stuck with me.

Last week I was sitting in another Starbucks, this one two blocks from my home in Franklin, TN reading Max Picard’s The World of Silence and drinking coffee when I made a connection between what Rob had said and the world I live in.

Is Jesus becoming background music in my life?

No matter where I go someone is talking, singing, arguing, writing a book, blogging, putting on a conference, or making a record about…Jesus.

(Yes, I’m aware I’m guilty of doing this right now.)

Not a day goes by when I don’t see tee shirts with Bible verses printed on them or a tattoo of Jesus’ crucifixion inked on someone’s arm. Billboards with warnings about hell dot the highway. I can’t turn on the radio or television without someone talking at me about Jesus; he’s quoted (or misquoted) on bumper stickers, and recently while standing at a urinal in the men’s room at a restaurant I looked up and discovered a framed print of John 3:16 hanging on the wall in front of me. Some people don’t do subtle.

If Rob is right my experience of constant exposure to all things Jesus isn’t increasing my admiration or devotion for him, it’s diminishing it.

Read the entire post HERE

What a timely post. We’re getting ready to enter a season called Christmas that is really all about Jesus, yet it’s so easy for him to quickly become a sort of ambient background music.

I don’t know about you, but I refuse to allow the commercialization of Christmas, along with my self centered, ego-driven, materialistic desires to push Jesus from his rightful place.

So how do I combat this? It takes a lot of focused intentionality but let me give you one practical example.

Over the next four weeks you’re probably going to see hundreds and hundreds of nativity scenes.

One of my Christmas traditions is every time I see a nativity scene (as biblically incorrect as it might be) is to pause and say, “Wow! That really happened. That REALLY happened. God actually stepped into human history and gave us what we really needed, a Savior who bathed us in his life changing, soul shaping grace.”

It’s easy to allow all of these nativity scenes to get lumped into the same category as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy… but it was an actual event that changed everything!

How are you going to keep Jesus from becoming background noise this Christmas?

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Pete Wilson
Pete Wilson is the founding pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN and author of a new book entitled Plan B, his thoughts about what to do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. He is a frequent blogger on his popular ministry blog, WithoutWax.tv. Pete is married and has three sons.