“Lost Christmas Eve” for an Atheist

Jenna and I kicked off our Christmas holiday with a date night at the American Airlines center for the TransSiberian Orchestra. Nothing puts one in the mood for Christmas quite like classic carols rocked out to slashing guitars, electric violins, high-energy lighting and enough pyro to make a redneck jealous. Santa was truly rocking this year!

Something notable took place last night during the performance that broke my heart.

The first part of the TSO show is a rock opera narrated by a wonderful gentlemen with a golden voice. The story is about an older “grinchy” gentleman who finds hope, forgiveness and redemption that lost Christmas eve. We first meet this old man sitting alone in a Jazz bar. Every patron was having a very merry Christmas that night, but not him. Many years earlier this successful businessman lost his wife as she delivered their first son. The son having suffered from a loss of oxygen would be severely handicapped for the remainder of his life. The distraught father, angry with God and facing a future of raising a special needs child without his wife, walked away, turning the custody of his son over to the state. Twelve years later, while leaving the bar the spirit of Christmas penetrates his heart and he chooses to find that lost child. It’s a fantastic Christmas story.

It was a Christmas Concert, a Christmas Story filled with Christmas music. I would assume that everyone who entered into the arena expected a night filled with CHRISTmas. So it seemed very strange to hear a few groans and moans during the narration of the story, especially during the most religious parts.

One line in particular was, “If man was made in the image of God, how could God be found in this.” At least a dozen people cheered in affirmation to that line. Granted that was twelve out of ten thousand… but they were a vocal minority.

It was that moment my heart broke. I hurt for the lost souls in that arena that “lost Christmas Eve”. Each with their own story about the moment CHRIST was removed from their Christmas. For some it would be a past hurt or tragedy in which they reasoned like that businessman, “there can be no God”. Others it might have been their education or upbringing that skillfully removed Christ from the equation. Regardless, they now found themselves together for a wonderful night of Christmas celebration, yet for them Christ was not welcome.

There is no Christmas without Christ. No “Joy to the World”, “O’Come All Ye Faithful”, “What Child is This”, “O Come Let Us Adore Him”, or “Silent Night”. There is no concert that night, no music, no lights to make your season bright. Christ truly is the reason for the season.

This is the very reason Christ came that first Christmas eve. Every man and woman on earth was lost and surrounded in a great darkness. Then that night, light pierced through the darkness and became the life of all mankind. Hope, forgiveness and redemption was first found laying in that manger. It’s a shame that many, like that businessman, choose to let tragedy, disappointment, or whatever remove the child from their life. Yet here is the Spirit of Christmas… The Christ still waits for you. He is not willing that any would perish, but all would find everlasting life. Just open your heart this Christmas eve and let His light shine once again!

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