Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Cheese!

With everything that has been happening in our country lately, I thought it might be a good time to bring a little holiday levity to the blogsphere table. If you are like me, then you're probably tired of watching people burn down their neighborhoods, exalt and canonize people who are law breakers, or pontificate to all of us about the real meaning of social justice and racism all the while lambasting police officers as racist bigots. There is only so much one can take before this constant clamor and rhetoric numb the mind and send the stomach into continuous convulsions. Popeye said it perfectly when he said, "That's all I can stands 'cuz I can't stands no more!"

To remedy all this insanity, I turned to the one source of comfort and encouragement that we Christians seem to turn to in tough times. No, it wasn't the Bible or Jesus. It was cable television! Where else can you combine ancient aliens, weather disasters, holiday cybersales or a quick emotional spiritual song from Jimmy Swaggart with just the press of a simple button? The wonders of television never cease to amaze me, and there is nothing like a trip down memory lane during the Christmas season to brighten one's mood and bring back a more properly focused mindset. Television can make that happen in a New York minute.

The other night, I came across an old Dragnet episode that I had never seen before. The episode was titled: Dragnet, The Big Little Jesus. It apparently was a very popular holiday episode back in the day, but had lost its sense of appeal to more modern Christmas specials such as A Very Brady Christmas or The Star Wars Holiday Special. I must admit, how can any old black and white Christmas special compete with shows like those? Even so, the Dragnet, The Big Little Jesus was such a popular Christmas special that it was even redone in 1967 with Harry Morgan playing the part of Bill Gannon.

While watching the old program, I couldn't help but think Mark Hogan probably wrote the script with its corny, stiff but serious one liners, its overly dramatic and dry acting, and its misplaced sense of police priorities. Leave it to an ex-fireman to capture lawmen at their finest!

I've downloaded the Dragnet program for your holiday enjoyment. Please watch it before finishing the blog!

When I was a police officer, I had a friend on the department who put out a Christmas creche every year in front of his house. He loved that Christmas creche and tended to it with great pride and dedication since he spent a large sum of money on it. When he would set it up each year, he would position each figure just right as to be seen by those traveling down the road. Lighting was essential to the proper display of his creche and any obstruction of it was immediately destroyed or carted away from his beautiful creation. He watched over his creche like a mother bird protecting its young from would-be thieves and constantly worried that something would happen to his precious baby Jesus. The reason he worried so much about his creche and baby Jesus was because he knew my sense of humor and knack for playing practical jokes. He had it in the back of his mind that I would "kidnap" his baby Jesus one day or night and hold him for ransom or deface him in some belligerent manner. I must admit, I did think about driving by his house very often and "stealing" his baby Jesus just for the joy of thinking about his reaction to seeing it GONE!

The reason I downloaded the Dragnet Christmas show and told you about my old friend's Christmas creche was to illustrate an important idea. "Jesus" has been taken out of the Christmas season in many instances, and the celebration has been replaced with emptiness, confusion, and a counterfeit sense of what the holiday is all about. Santa, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, or a host of other holiday impersonators have "stolen" or "replaced" the real Jesus and have provided us an empty and unfulfilled shell of the real celebration.

During the next few weeks, let's not let our "Jesus" get stolen or replaced. Let us be diligent in watching over our hearts and be ever mindful of the counterfeit impersonators who seek to distract our attention from the real meaning and celebration of Christmas. Although we have heard these cliches numerous times at this time of year, may we keep Christ in Christmas and may Jesus truly be the reason for the season!  

Stay Holy, My Friends and Merry Christmas!

Pastor Don

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