My Pastoral supervisor in Freeport, IL always had a running joke. Every couple of months he would act very excited carrying a paper with him and wave it in the air while announcing, “JcPenny is having the biggest sale of the year!” Before you think he was one of those crazy JcPenny shoppers you have to know that he was really just being sarcastic. In the town of Freeport, JcPenny was always having sales and they always called it the biggest sale of the year. To their credit maybe every sale was their biggest of that particular year, but many people grew a little skeptical of “big sales” especially the ones that promised savings that had never been seen before.     

I was always taught that if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. Stores are not in business to lose money. If they lose on one item you can bet they will make even more on another. Because of some of the sales techniques that we have been exposed to we have become more than a little cynical.

What do we do with the circumstances concerning the birth of Jesus? A virgin that is pregnant, shady shepherds proclaiming his birth, God being born into flesh and blood, and many other parts. It all sounds too good to be true. But this is precisely the difference between a sales pitch and a promise from God.

Have we grown so accustomed to the Christmas season that when we see the Christ-child in the manger every year we ask, is it too good to be true?

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