Happy birthday to who?

Earlier today on Bellshill Salvation Army Band’s Facebook page I shared some devotions. I’d like to share those devotions with you tonight.

Last week I read a survey from December 2019 of 1000 children in the UK, aged between 5 and 7 years old. All the children were asked whose birthday we celebrate on 25th December each year:

  • 36 percent don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, but thought it might be Santa’s birthday; and
  • more than one in five believe the Christmas festivities are in aid of Simon Cowell’s birthday!

There was also confusion amongst them about where Jesus was born:

  • 24 percent of the children believed that Jesus was born in Brentwood, Essex – which is the home of TOWIE stars favourite nightclub the Sugar Hut.
  • Another 25 percent of the children thought Jesus was born in 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace
  • Only 28 percent of the children were able to correctly give Jesus’ birth place as Bethlehem.

The children were also asked about the three wise men, and there were some interesting (if wrong) answers for this too, with more than a third of the children naming the following people as the wise men:

  • X Factor head judge Gary Barlow; and
  • TOWIE star Mark Wright; and
  • Prince Charles.

The final survey question I want to share with you, asked the children how the wise men heard about the birth of baby Jesus – Over 30 percent of them thought the three wise men heard about Christ’s birth via Facebook.

Yes, some of the answers given by the children are amusing, but if we think about what those survey results actually tell us. So many of the children did not know we celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day, and many of them got many of the major parts of the Christmas story wrong too. These results suggest that celebrities seem to have a big influence over children’s believes, with tradition and Christianity taking a back seat when it comes to the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is a time when we have fun, exchanging gifts with friends and family, but we must always remember that if the strip away all the gifts, tinsel and trees, we are left with Christ, and without Christ there would be no Christmas.

God needs us more than ever to share the true meaning of Christmas, not just with children, but with people of all ages, who don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day. Do you remember how many of the children thought the wise men heard about Jesus’ birth – via Facebook? As a band we have been able to make us of Facebook, Twitter and our website to continue to share the true meaning of Christmas this year, even thought we’ve been unable to meet in person as a band since March. I simply pray that the band, individually and collectively, and you and me, can all influence others to ensure more people know whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas Day – It’s simply Jesus.

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