‘In my opinion’, said the Teddy Bear,
‘Christmas is overrated’.
‘Yeah’, chipped in the Barbie Doll in a frilly dress, ‘It’s just an excuse for a party. But, heh!
There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?’
‘We’re all robots’, gloomily intoned the shiny
mechanical figure (made in Japan);
‘Just robots, nothing more’.
The toy shop was closed, of course. The toys in the Christmas window display didn’t talk when humans were around. Nor, in fact, had they ever experienced Christmas. They were all factory fresh.
Get a life
The electric train emerged from a tunnel. ‘Life is just going round in circles’, said the Train breathlessly, ‘And getting nowhere’. It disappeared into another tunnel. ‘Or luck’, added the Board Game wistfully. ‘Take snakes and ladders – sometimes you get a ladder and go up, and sometimes you get a snake and slide down. It’s all chance’.
‘Don’t agree’, replied the Monopoly Set; life’s all about making money and buying what you want – and keeping out of jail, of course’.
‘Yeah, but it’s all monopoly money and trivial pursuits, isn’t it? replied the Teddy Bear. ‘It’s, like, unreal’.
‘We’re all robots, I tell you’, boomed Shiny Japanese Toy.
‘Get a life’, muttered the Barbie Doll.
‘Look, there must be more to it than that’, interrupted the Chemistry Set politely. ‘Life is all about chemistry. Little molecules join up to make big molecules; big molecules get together to make living cells; and living cells get together to make animals like humans. What a wonderful scenario!’
‘OK, but what then?’ asked the iPod.
‘Well, um, I suppose the animals die and decay and break down into small molecules. It’s simple really – chemistry makes the world go round’.
‘Yes’, puffed the Toy Train as it emerged from its tunnel for the umpteenth time. ‘Round in circles, like I said. You just go round in circles getting nowhere’. It vanished into the darkness again.
‘Well yes’, agreed the Computer. ‘To enjoy life you have to realise that it’s just a game – virtual reality, not real reality. Score maximum points and you’re on top of the world’.
‘That doesn’t work for me’, said the Teddy Bear sadly. ‘With clumsy paws like mine on the keyboard I could never win. In fact, although I look adorable I’m secretly a loser all the way’.
‘That’s what I said’, rumbled Shiny Japanese Toy. ‘We’re all robots’.
‘You’re a miserable lot’, chirped up the Singing-dancing Dog (batteries not included). But then they had never experienced Christmas.
Each of the toys was bought, wrapped lovingly in gift paper and hidden away till Christmas. Then on that special Day, each was torn eagerly from its wrappings and embraced with happiness and wonder by a child. The toys suddenly discovered something they had never known before – what it was to be loved and wanted. They began to experience what Christmas means. Have you?
Jesus came into the world that first Christmas ‘to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10). As the children in our story longed for and loved their precious toys, so in a far greater way Jesus loved lost sinners and longed to redeem them. He still does, for they are precious to him.
The Bible says, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). This is what it really means to ‘get a life’ – now and for eternity.
What it’s all about
Without Christ we are like the toys with their various philosophies of life. We go round in endless circles looking for answers – and we don’t even know what the questions are! Are we all robots? Is life just a party? In all our frenetic activity do we emerge endlessly from the same tunnel?
Are we all secret losers? And if not, does our success add up to monopoly money and trivial pursuits? Does chemistry consign us to the dust?
Not if we understand what Christmas is all about. It tells us that there is a living God who made us and to whom we are accountable. It tells us that he loves us and longs to redeem us (that is, to buy us back) that we might belong to him and truly live, both now and for eternity.
It also tells us that by his birth, death and resurrection, Jesus has done all that is necessary for this to happen. We only have to turn from our sin and put our trust in him.