Cap's Corner: Birthday party for Jesus

by Cap McIlnay

Isaiah 9:6 reads: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah was prophesying about the birth of Jesus over 700 years before the birth of Christ. The birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus have become the most impactful moments in all of human history. Not just for Christians, but for the entire world; the entire world has been impacted because of the 33 years of the life of Jesus.

He is not just the “Man of the Year,” but Jesus is the “Man of all Time” – past, present, and future. The impact Jesus has had on this world is unmeasurable. But in many places in our country, Jesus, His church, and Christianity are looked down upon, and even hated.

The truth is, the Church and Christians have created some of the reasons for people to despise or even hate Christianity. But those people are very short-sighted, and often times, they are using some of our failures to rationalize for their sinful nature.

The bottom line is this: The Church, over the centuries, has done some terrible things in the name of God. But the Church has also done more good for humanity than any other organization this world has ever seen. Church members have fed, freed, healed, taught, and loved more people than any other human endeavor in the history of mankind – all because of the birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of a man who happens to be the Son of God. His name is Jesus.

It is for this reason that so many people give to churches. In turn, churches help millions of people each year. This is true even in our own communities. I know many of our local churches help individuals in many ways, and others will help this community by giving to the Associated Charities. But the church can only help with what it has been given.

Again and again I hear people tell me that they do not have to go to church to be a Christian. I have written about this before. The Church is the Body of Christ, and all Christians are called to be a part of that body. No church is perfect. Even if we found one that were perfect, the moment that you or I stepped into it, no longer would it be a perfect church.

I hear these people say that they don’t need a church to feel the presence of God, and this is true. I would like to ask the question, “Since when was going to church about you?” You might not need church, and many feel they don’t. But maybe, just maybe, the Church needs you. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say – in the Old Testament or the New Testament – that we should only go to a worship service of God for our own benefit. The churches in this community – in any community – can only do as much as that which is first given to them by the faithful.

Today, we are seeing a decline in church attendance across the board – not just in our community, but in our country. With each person deciding to stay at home instead of going to a church, the Church is weakened. Not spiritually, but in its ability to help feed, clothe, shelter, heal, care for, and love those within our community who are in need.

You might not need church, but I assure you, the Church needs you. What better time to start back up – or to start coming to church for the first time – than during this season of celebration of Jesus’ birth?

With that in mind, the First United Methodist Church will once again will be doing the bicycle give-away this year. Last year, we were able to give away roughly 74 brand-new bikes. This year, we are trying to reach 100 new bikes. But at this point, we don’t even have half of that.

If you or the company you work for have not given to this ministry, please consider doing so now. I hear everyone complaining about not seeing kids playing outside. Well, guess what? Bikes will go a long way in encouraging kids to do just that: play outside!

Last year, we had the give-away during our Christmas Eve candlelight service. But this year, we are going to do something very special. On Dec. 22, we will be having a Birthday Party for Jesus. We will have cakes and sing Christmas songs about Rudolf, Frosty, and others. I will speak briefly about who Jesus is, and discuss how He can help you in your life.

Remember, Jesus loves you. His church was not created for you, but you were created to be a part of it. Any church can only help as much as is given to it. Come back home to Church this season. Even if you have never gone before, it is your home!

“For to us a child is born.” You are part of that “us.” Come home!