Monday, December 9, 2013

What If There Were No Christmas?

Mae's manger scene
What if there were no Christmas?  Chapel services on Friday, December 6th explored this question with both the K-6 and the 7-12 students.  K-6 students considered the question as a group, and came up with all kinds of great answers:  "We wouldn't have any good Christmas songs to sing." "We wouldn't be able to know God."  "We wouldn't have any presents." "We would have no Savior." 

After the students thought for awhile, they were given paper and drawing tools and asked to draw a picture of something important about Christmas.  A couple of samples are provided here; the pictures are currently displayed in the Cafetorium.

Raimi's manger scene with Christmas trees
Older students were asked to reflect on the same theme.  For the 7-12 chapel, the question was divided into two parts: "What would the world be like if Christmas had never happened?" and "What would my life be like if Christmas had never happened?"  For the first part, students were divided into teams and worked on lists of things they felt would be different in the world if Jesus had never been born.

Team AofPE brainstorms what the world would be like without Christ
Samples of ideas the teams generated include: "People would be more mean." "There would be no DPCA." "The USA might never have happened." "Tons of literature would be gone." Slavery might never have been stopped."  "Our nation would not be 'under God'  - no pledge of allegiance." "There would be no Operation Christmas Child." "No Christmas trees, wrapping, presents, foods, songs, etc." "No salvation."  "No hope or promise of the future."  "No New Testament." "We'd be pagan." "No purity."  "No Chick-Fil-A." And several teams had on their list: "We would have no reason to live."

Students then were given time to individually work on their own list, "What would my life be like if Christmas had never happened?"  Though students did not share those lists publicly, Mr. Ben Little encouraged all of us to think purposefully about that question.  How are our lives different because of Christ and His coming?

Following the more reflective part of chapel, junior high and high school students rejoined their teams and enjoyed a Christmas games contest.  Team Rudolph - Kate, Sydney, Tori, Lauren, Heather, and Sarah - captured first place and won gift certificates to the mission cafe.

During the game time, team Rudolph works on blindfolded wrapping
What was clear from both chapels is the enormous impact that the coming of Jesus Christ has had in individual lives and in the world. His birth truly is the central point in human history, and everywhere the gospel has spread, change has followed.  As we celebrate this year, let us remember again all the multiplied blessings of Christmas and the Christ-child, who came to be both Savior and Lord!

Readers who wish to explore in greater depth how our world has been changed as a result of Jesus' birth, life, and resurrection may be interested in some further resources:  The first is Alvin J. Schmidt's book How Christianity Changed the World.  For a summary in .pdf form, click here.  A second work on the subject is Dr. D. James Kennedy's What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?  A YouTube video on the subject can be found here. More information on both books can be found at, at other booksellers, or by searching the titles online.

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