Monday, December 22, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Have you seen the remake of the classic science-fiction film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still”? It’s about an alien called Klaatu, who travels across the universe to warn people on Earth of an impending global crisis.

This being Christmas week, I see interesting contrasts between this film and the story of the Christ child. Like Klaatu, Jesus was from out of this world, the Son of God. But when He arrived more than 2,000 years ago, Jesus made no dramatic entrance. Rather than a flying saucer, his mother’s mode of transportation was a donkey.

Jesus’ arrival was not splashed on newspaper front pages, or the lead item on the evening news. Born in a remote village, His birth was largely ignored except for a handful of curious shepherds and, about two years later, some wise men from distant lands who knew biblical prophecy.

These facts are one reason I am convinced the Christmas story – and accounts of Jesus’ life – are true. If they were fabricated, why would He appear in obscurity and live in such humble surroundings? Fables and myths are comprised of the fantastic; incredible exploits performed by superheroes. Jesus’ story is one of humility and self-sacrifice, compassion and mercy.

Concerning Jesus, the Bible says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He arrived with no press kit, no publicists, no marketing strategy. Yet our modern calendar is built around His birth date.

Countless millions celebrate His coming. Lives beyond number have been changed by His life. Jesus also warned of doom – but provided the solution. For that reason, this Christmas again we commemorate the real Day the Earth Stood Still.