Christmas Story


There was once a village in the jungle – the jungle was very dense and dark and the people in the village never saw much sunlight.  Most days they would light their torches in the afternoon, and they lived their lives in gloom.   Every now and the, they would hear the wind rustling the treetops and they would look up, uncertainly and wonder what was happening above them.  They thought that something must be happening, but they could not see it.  Occasionally, the sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees and reached down piercing the gloom.  When this happened, the villagers were very happy and they danced in the sunlight.  But these moments wee rarer: mostly it was dark and cold and gloomy. One day, a stranger appeared in the village

Where did you come from? They asked him

He pointed. “ From up there , “he said, “ From the tops of the tree, where the air is fresh and the wind blows in your face and the birds sing.”

The villagers looked amazed.  “There is an up there ?” They asked

“Oh yes”. Replied the stranger

They looked at him

“You’re a funny colour.” They said “You’re not pale like us.”

“That’s because I come from the sunlight”. Said the stranger.

They looked at him, baffled.  “Sunlight” ?

“Didn’t I mention the sunlight” said the stranger  “Oh, you must see the sunlight.  Some days it is so bright that the tops of the trees turn white.  Some days it breaks through the clouds in pillars of gold.  Some days it shines through the rain in a great arc of colours”.   He looked at them.  “Don’t tell me, you’ve never seen the sunlight”. He said.

They shook their heads. “ Then I will take you there, straight away”. He declared.” Follow me and we’ll climb to the top “

At this great debate broke out in the village.  Some declared that the stranger was mad.  Others that he was deliberately luring them into the trees to that he could push them off.  But some looked at the colour of his skin and the brightness of his eyes and believed him

And, as he began to climb through the trees again, some followed him. Some of them gave up half way- they found the climb too difficult.  But a few followed the stranger right up into the highest branches until they were lost from sight

“That’s it”, said the village wise men. “We’ll never see them again”.

But they did. Every now and again the people from the treetops would come down to the village and tell the others what they had found.  They explained how there was enough room for everyone to live up on top.  Sometimes people from the village returned with them.  The rest of the people however, laughed at these tales.  And they stayed pale and cold on the forest floor.  Where they eyes were accustomed. To the gloom

What does it all mean ?

People stopped being idealistic, but Christianity had ideals to show them. People were terribly, dreadfully realistic, but Christianity had a truer and higher and brighter reality to present to them. It should have been Christianity’s greatest moment but it went wrong

We never bothered to climb down from the treetops we sat and waited for them to come to us.  Christianity is about the ideal life, Its about the way that life should be lived – in all its fullness and wonder and richness. The first responsibility of Christians is to live it. The second it to tell others.  But instead of going and seeking them out, and living among them, Christians have shut themselves away in their Christian ghettos.

You see the secret of successful selling is comfort – – you don’t expect your customers to come into your comfort zone, you go into theirs even though it makes you feel bad.

Jesus became man to do just this – the people who lived in darkness saw a great light.